Michel Gondry’s Atlantis to be Filmed in Richmond, Virginia

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Michel Gondry’s upcoming musical film ‘Atlantis’ is slated to be shot in Richmond, Virginia. The movie unfolds as a narrative akin to ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ interwoven with musical elements, drawing inspiration from Pharrell Williams’ childhood experiences in Virginia Beach. After embarking on the creation of this musical in 2022, Gondry shared in an interview that the project holds significant personal value, despite its substantial budget.

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Pharrell Williams, who is recognized not only as a prominent musician, songwriter, and producer but also as the creative director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s line since February 2023, co-founded the hip-hop duo ‘The Neptunes’ in the early ’90s. In 2001, alongside Chad Hugo of The Neptunes and their friend Shae Haley, he established ‘N.E.R.D.,’ an alternative R&B band. Revered as one of the most influential music producers of the 21st century, Williams has significantly shaped the contemporary music landscape. Beyond his musical contributions, he has ventured into acting with roles in productions like ‘Entourage’ and ‘How to Make It in America,’ and has taken on the role of a producer in various productions, including ‘The Right to Count’ and ‘Sing 2 – Always Stronger.’

The film marks Gondry’s return to American filmmaking after a decade-long hiatus, which began with the release of the 2012 comedy-drama ‘The We and the I.’ Martin Hynes, who is known for co-writing Netflix’s animated adventure comedy ‘The Magician’s Elephant,’ penned the movie musical.

This year at the Cannes Film Festival, Gondry premiered ‘Book of Solutions’ in the Directors Fortnight section. The film marked a significant return for the 60-year-old director, as it was his first in over seven years. Although the director is celebrated for helming the iconic ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘ in 2004 and the creatively entertaining 2005 documentary ‘Dave Chappelle’s Block Party,’ subsequent works in his career, including ‘Human Nature,’ ‘Be Kind Rewind,’ ‘The Science of Sleep,’ and ‘Mood Indigo,’ didn’t garner the fame and acclaim of the former.

It is rumored that renowned rappers Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot, and Andre Benjamin have joined the cast of the movie. However, the acting lineup of the project is yet to be officially announced. Richmond has previously hosted the shooting of several notable productions, including the likes of ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘Swagger.’ Keep an eye out for further updates as this project continues to develop.

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