Janelle Monáe Joins Movie Musical Inspired by Pharrell's Youth f/ Missy Elliott, Halle Bailey, Brian Tyree Henry, and More (UPDATE)

The film is reportedly set in the summer of 1977 in Virginia Beach.

Woman in a stylish red blazer and white top poses at an event
Image via Getty / Gilbert Flores / Variety
Woman in a stylish red blazer and white top poses at an event

UPDATED 5/2, 9:55 p.m. ET: Janelle Monáe becomes the latest actor to join the star-studded cast of the untitled Michel Gondry-directed movie inspired by the childhood of Pharrell Williams, as reported by Deadline.

Similar to previous casting news, Monáe's role in the film is unknown.

The 10-time Grammy nominee will embark on the European leg of the Age of Pleasure Tour next month.

Janelle's previous acting credits include Hidden Figures, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and the Oscar-winning film Moonlight.

UPDATED 5/1, 1:30 p.m. ET: Missy Elliott has joined the all-star cast involved in a movie musical based on the early years of fellow Virginia native Pharrell Williams.

The news was announced on Tuesday (April 30), and although Elliott's role was unspecified, the rap icon is a perfect fit for the Williams-oriented film, as the two artists made their breakthroughs in the late '90s.

On X, Elliott responded with enthusiasm to the news of being newly cast in the Michel Gondry-directed flick.

Ayyyyyyye🚨🙌🏾🔥🔥🔥💃🏾 https://t.co/pYFozWvWfC

— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) April 30, 2024
Twitter: @MissyElliott

See original story below.

Brian Tyree Henry has been tapped to join a star-studded cast that includes Academy Award winner Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Halle Bailey, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in a movie inspired by the youth of Pharrell Williams.

While details are limited, The Hollywood Reporter describes the long-gestating film as a "coming-of-age musical set in the summer of 1977 Virginia Beach" and finds inspiration from the Atlantis Apartments where Pharrell grew up.

Martin Hynes and Steven Levenson wrote the currently untitled screenplay, while Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will direct.

It was announced in January that the multihyphenate's life story will also be told on the big screen through Lego bricks.

"Building with Lego bricks encourages us to follow our imagination…who would've thought that playing with these toys as a kid would evolve into a movie about my life," Pharrell said in a statement. "It's proof that anyone else can do it too."

Directed by Morgan Neville, Piece by Piece hits theaters on Oct. 11.

Much like Pharrell, Henry is in high demand these days. Coming off the theatrical release of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire , the Atlanta actor will can be heard later this year in the animated movie Transformers One.

According to his IMDb page, Henry has been cast in The Fire Inside, a film written by Barry Jenkins, who received an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Moonlight.

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