Imagine Entertainment, the Hollywood production company co-founded by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, has announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Warner Music Group that will see the two industry leaders collaborate closely on music-focused projects across film, TV, documentaries and more.
The partnership gives Imagine access to the music libraries of WMG’s family of labels, as well as publisher Warner Chappell. The first Imagine/WMG joint is Genius: Aretha, the biopic series about Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin set to premiere on the National Geographic Channel this fall.
“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,” remarked 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.”
Founded in 1986, Imagine’s list of music-related productions over the years includes the Oscar-winning film 8 Mile and Fox’s long-running TV drama Empire, as well as documentaries Jay Z’s Made In America, Katy Perry : Part of Me and the recently released Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.
The company is currently developing a biopic on Gucci Mane, and documentaries on Louis Armstrong, Carlos Santana, and Tekashi 6ix9nine.
Throughout the partnership, Imagine will work closely with WMG’s film and TV division, Warner Music Entertainment, which launched in 2017 and is led by former MGM exec Charlie Cohen.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Ron, Brian, and the stellar team at Imagine to bring to screens the captivating stories of our artists, our songwriters, and our labels,” said WMG CEO Steve Cooper. “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.”