By Ruth Kinane
December 03, 2018 at 05:55 PM EST

Add Prince to the list of musical acts getting the movie treatment.

Universal Pictures announced Monday that it has acquired the rights to a number of classic songs from the late musician’s catalog and is developing an original film musical inspired by his music. The narrative will be fictional (not a biopic of the artist’s life), using Prince’s songs to drive the plot — think along the lines of the Abba-inspired Mamma Mia. Mike Knobloch, the studio’s president of global film music and publishing, will play an important role in the project.

Prince became a pop-music icon over the course of his 40-plus-year career, selling more than 100 million records worldwide, so the moviemakers should have plenty of material to mine. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, he was one of the best-selling music artists of all time and won eight Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award (the latter for the 1984 film Purple Rain). He died of an accidental opioid overdose in 2016, at 57.

Liu Heung Shing/AP

With the recent success of Bohemian Rhapsody, the slated release of the Elton John biopic Rocketman next year, and Universal’s upcoming Cats adaptation, musical/musician-inspired movies are on the rise, and the Prince project is unlikely to be the last.

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