“Who would’ve thought that playing with these toys as a kid would evolve into a movie about my life?”: The Pharrell Williams biopic is going to be a Lego movie, and it looks like it could be pretty good

If you’re looking for an antidote to all the by-the-numbers musician biopics that have filled our screens over the past few years, Pharrell Williams might be about to provide it. Not only has he agreed to play himself in his film, but he’s also choosing to tell his story through the medium of… Lego.

Of course, movies inspired by the brick-based toy aren’t exactly new, either, but having watched the trailer, we sense that Williams’ decision to do things a little differently might be about to pay off. Titled Piece by Piece, the film seems to share some of the offbeat humour of the other Lego movies, and stepping into the animated sphere frees the storytellers up to take a few liberties.

Chief among these is director Morgan Neville, whose previous credis include 200 Feet from Stardom, Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson and the Song Exploder TV series. “Five years ago, Pharrell Williams approached me with the idea of helping him tell his story through Lego animation,” he said in a statement earlier this year. “It was one of those rare moments where I knew in a second that this was a journey I wanted to go on.”

Williams, meanwhile, said that “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. It’s proof that anyone else can do it too.”

Pharrell Williams Piece by Piece

(Image credit: Focus Features)

Others stars set to appear in Piece by Piece include Gwen Stefani, Kendrick Lamar, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, all of whom Pharrell has collaborated with throughout his career.

Whether there will be an appearance from Chad Hugo, Williams partner in the hugely successful songwriting/production duo The Neptunes, remains to be seen. It was reported earlier this year that Hugo was taking legal action against Williams in a ‘Neptunes’ trademark dispute, so a cameo seems unlikely at this point.

Don't expect former Neptunes muse Kelis to pop up, either; she has long-standing beef with both Williams and Hugo regarding their mutual business arrangements back in the day.

It remains to be seen if Daft Punk, who Pharrell worked with on their Random Access Memories, will make an appearance, even if only in behelmeted form.

Piece by Piece will be released in cinemas on 11 October.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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