Robbie Williams biopic in the works from Greatest Showman director

entertainment
Robbie Williams, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

A film based on the life and career of Robbie Williams is reportedly in the works from the director of hit musical The Greatest Showman.

Better Man is a fantastical coming-of-age story telling the rise of former Take That singer Williams, according to US outlet Deadline.

The film will explore Williams’ demons, director Michael Gracey said, after he spent hours speaking with the star.

Robbie Williams is reportedly getting the biopic treatment (Joe Giddens/PA)

Williams’ hit songs will feature in the movie, according to Deadline, but it is not known how the 47-year-old will be portrayed on screen.

Gracey told the outlet:  “As for how we represent Robbie in the film, that bit is top secret.  I want to do this in a really original way. I remember going to the cinema as a kid and there were films that blew me away and made me say as I sat there in the cinema, ‘I’ve never seen this before.’ I just want the audience to have that feeling.”

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Australian Gracey, best known for directing the 2017 blockbuster musical The Greatest Showman, added: “All I can say is the approach is top secret, but the goal is to generate that feeling I just described. It’s this fantastical story, and I want to represent it in its harsh reality all the way to these moments of pure fantasy.”

Williams was born in Stoke-on-Trent and shot to global stardom as part of Take That. After leaving the band in 1995, he forged a hugely successful solo career.

Williams, whose hits include Angels, Come Undone and Supreme, has been open about his issues with alcohol and substance abuse.

His biopic will focus on Williams being an “everyman,” Gracey said.

“Unlike some people who were born prodigies or musical geniuses and you follow the narrative of the world catching up to their brilliance, this isn’t that story,” Gracey said.

“Robbie is that Everyman, who just dreamed big and followed those dreams and they took him to an incredible place. Because of that, his is an incredibly relatable story. He’s not the best singer, or dancer, and yet, he managed to sell 80 million records worldwide.

“You can relate to the guy who doesn’t see himself as having any extraordinary talent, even though of course, he does. What he did have is the will, vision and confidence to say, I’m going to pursue my dream. For us as an audience, it’s a window into the world, of what if we just went for it and chased that impossible dream that so many of us put to one side.”

Gracey added Williams’ songs will be “re-sung, for the emotion of the moment.”

Williams has been married to American actress Ayda Field since 2010. They have four children.

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