Arts & Events » Music

Pharrell Williams to Produce Musical Film Based on His Virginia Beach Childhood



Atlantis, the Virginia Beach apartment complex where pop superstar Pharrell Williams grew up in the 1980s, will become the basis of an upcoming musical akin to the Oscar-nominated "La La Land."

Fox has acquired the rights to “Atlantis,” a musical fictionalizing Williams’ childhood there as he discovered his passion for music. The project, according to Hollywood Reporter, will be anchored by a “Romeo and Juliet”-like story line. Broadway director Michael Mayer, best known for the multiple Tony-winner “Spring Awakening” and “American Idiot,” is set to direct “Atlantis.” Williams and Mimi Valdes, from his I Am Other company, will produce the project.

Although Williams is well established as one of the most successful pop producers of the last two decades, his biggest solo success lately has come via the movies. He was a producer and oversaw the music for the box office smash “Hidden Figures,” and he crowned pop charts around the world with “Happy,” his inescapable 2013 single from the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack.

Williams lived in Virginia Beach in the 1980s and early 1990s with his family – his father was a handyman, his mother a teacher, and they had two younger sons.

Learn more at