Warner Music Group (WMG) has inked a multi-year strategic partnership with Oscar-winning movie company Imagine Entertainment to co-produce and co-finance a slate of music-centered projects.
Founded in 1986 by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Imagine Entertainment is behind the likes of the Academy Award-winning 8 Mile (pictured), the Grammy Award-winning documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years and the Emmy-winning television drama Empire.
The partnership will see Imagine collaborate with WMG’s TV & Film division, Warner Music Entertainment, and the new projects will be produced across multiple mediums, including film, television, documentary, and other short-form content.
The new partnership gives Imagine, what WMG describes as, “unprecedented” access to its library of music and history across all of WMG’s record labels and its publishing arm.
Warner Music Entertainment is led by Charlie Cohen, former COO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who was appointed President of TV & Film for WMG in 2017.
Imagine and WMG first collaborated on Genius: Aretha, the Aretha Franklin biopic series set to premiere on National Geographic Channel this fall.
The company also produced the film Get On Up about James Brown, the television series Wu-Tang: An American Saga and a number of documentaries, including Jay Z’s Made in America, Katy Perry: Part of Me, Pavarotti, and Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.
In addition to Genius: Aretha, Imagine is currently in production on a film version of the musical “tick, tick…Boom!,” with Lin-Manuel Miranda directing.
The company is also developing a biopic on Gucci Mane, and documentaries on Louis Armstrong, Carlos Santana, and Tekashi 6ix9nine.
“I’ve always looked for new ways to bring a story to life. This is my passion. Our new partnership with WMG gives us a new dimension to do exactly that – ignite emotion in stories.”
Brian Grazer, Imagine
“I’ve always looked for new ways to bring a story to life. This is my passion. Our new partnership with WMG gives us a new dimension to do exactly that – ignite emotion in stories,” said Brian Grazer.
“The content that lives inside songs gives life to a fresh sonic and cinematic power.
“Len Blavatnik is a visionary in the space and everyone at Imagine is thrilled to partner with him and his team. Thanks again to WMG, particularly Steve, Max and Charlie.”
“With a global roster of superstar talent and a rich musical history in our archives, we have great opportunities to marry music, narrative, and image through biopics, documentaries, and other visual platforms.”
Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Ron [Howard], Brian, and the stellar team at Imagine to bring to screens the captivating stories of our artists, our songwriters, and our labels.
“With a global roster of superstar talent and a rich musical history in our archives, we have great opportunities to marry music, narrative, and image through biopics, documentaries, and other visual platforms.
“I can’t wait to see what emerges from the collaboration between our team at Warner Music Entertainment, led by Charlie Cohen, and the inspired creativity of Imagine.”
Music Business Worldwide