Sir Richard Branson, Jason Felts and Justin Berfield’s Virgin Produced, Emmy Award & Golden Globe Award nominated executive producers Joshua D. Maurer and Alixandre Witlin’s City Entertainment (Georgia O’Keeffe, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself) have partnered with Johnny Depp and Christi Dembrowski’s Infinitum Nihil to produce a new drama series inspired by the award winning documentary feature Muscle Shoals. Greg Camalier, who directed and produced the documentary, will also produce the television adaption. Virgin Produced Executive Vice President of Production Rene Rigal brought the project into the company and will be overseeing with Infinitum Nihil’s Bobby DeLeon.
The series will explore the rich and vast milieu of the tumultuous and often poetically tragic segregated south through its colorful characters, rich cultural and political history and southern gothic settings, which became a unique melting pot of diverse musical & cultural traditions. Weaving a Faulkneresque tale through the stories of Muscle Shoals and the magical and mythical south, the filmmakers will get behind the music to explore the extraordinary stories that birthed this iconic sound.
Jason Felts, CEO of Virgin Produced said: “Greg’s film unearthed the poetic mysticism and inspired us to produce a series that utilizes music and narrative in a unique and ground-breaking way. This provocative story about the rich region and pioneering artists that birthed the iconic ‘Muscle Shoals Sound’ fits in with Virgin’s music roots and provides an ideal opportunity to partner with Depp, Infinitum and City Entertainment.”
“Muscle Shoals is an extraordinary story in which, through adversity, some of the world's most amazing music was created. It is perfectly suited for Infinitum as it combines Johnny's love of music and its history with our company's creative mission to tell these stories,” said Infinitum Nihil President Christi Dembrowski.
The Grammy Award nominated Muscle Shoals celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman". The documentary world premiered to critical acclaim at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and continued to find accolade at notable film festivals including the SXSW Film Festival and Hot Docs. Magnolia Pictures released the film in 2013.