Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Blame This Movie On The Rain... The Milli Vanilli Story Coming To Theaters

Nordling here.
Oh, the late 80s, early 90s.  I'm not very nostalgic for the time, but apparently filmmakers are - not only are we getting the 1980s romantic comedy TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT (set in 1988) in a few weeks, word from Deadline is that the Kennedy/Marshall Company has hired German director Florian Gallenberger to write and direct the story of Milli Vanilli, lipsynchers extraordinaire, to theaters.
I'm not familiar with Gallenberger's work - he won an Academy Award for his live-action short "Quiero Ser" and directed Steve Buscemi in a film called JOHN RABE that was well received in Europe.  I'm not sure why the Kennedy/Marshall Company, co-producer Jeff Nathanson, or Gallenburger thought this particular story was compelling, but they've commissioned a script to be written immediately.
Their music wasn't my thing, but I imagine they probably see some tragic aspect in the story that might make for a good film.  The events surrounding the lipsynching controversy seem more farce than tragedy, but considering the state of modern pop music these days maybe the story of Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan can serve as a cautionary tale.  Certainly what happened to Pilatus is tragic.  The fact that they have the cooperation of Morvan and Pilatuss estate may mean some sugar-coating of the real story will take place, or the film may turn out to be something brutally honest and relevant.  There's some really good musical biopics out there, and this story could be more interesting than most.
Nordling, out.
Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Feb. 11, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by SithMenace

    This is real?

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Well, Whatever You Do, Don't Put the Blame On You


    That's all I got.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Girl you know it's true...

    by phifty2

    ...I'm not seeing this movie.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    might be entertaining

    by elsewhere

    I liked some of their stuff when I was younger and the whole lip-syncing thing was pretty scandalous at the time. Not to mention the death of one the members.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    As a surreal comedy, this could be interesting.

    by WriteForTheEdit

    The film has to be shot silent, and then all the dialog added in post, for one.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    despite the fact they sucked...

    by TDH1138

    It could make for a good movie.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Coming to TV, I can see..

    by professor murder

    But coming to Theaters???? I'm sorry, but Johnny Cash, yes. Ray Charles, yes. James Brown, yes. Freddie Mercury, yes. BUT MILLI VANILLI????? Why??

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST


    by gomba

    Read an early draft. The script is phenomenal. Social Network meets Millie Vanilli. And it manages to be relevant. Brace yourselves.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:24 p.m. CST

    professor murder

    by elsewhere

    Glad you brought up Freddie Mercury. The fact we're potentially getting a Milli Vanilli movie and still have not yet got a Freddie Mercury movie is a damn shame.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Well, just because they weren't the best....

    by eustisclay

    ...doesn't make this a bad idea. Some of my favorite films focused on less than greats. No one will claim William Castle was the greatest filmmaker, but the psuedo Castle in Matinee was great. Same with Ed Wood. We have no biopic on John Ford or Hitchcock, but Ed Wood? And it was great. No biography of Hefner but we do have a very good movie called The People vs Larry Flynt. I'm reminded of Ebert's dictum, it's not what a movie is about it's how it's about it. That said(sorry) it's too bad for the Manilli guys that this didn't happen now. Evidently they had some class and were actually ashamed of what they did. Nowadays, people would be applauding them and they'd probably get a reality show and become more famous.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    first remakes...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    now biopics about irrelevant, washed up, hasbeens? this movie will make five dollars.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    i thought hollywood liked sure bets?

    by Billy_D_Williams

    who the fuck would see this? who are they targeting?

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:01 p.m. CST

    speaking of crap...

    by emeraldboy

    the irish people and I exclude myself here for this cause I didnt vote have just sent jedward to eurovision.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Has-beens sometimes have the best stories.

    by blackwood

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:03 p.m. CST

    it better be completely dubbed by voice actors.

    by alice133

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:07 p.m. CST

    i could see this working only if...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    they made the entire movie just like the horrible Dirk/Brock singing/recording scenes in Boogie Nights...

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Still Bill was THE music doco of the last year

    by quantize

    Superb film about a man who makes sublime music.. I do think that the Milli Vanilli episode, from memory, was a time where the whole idea of 'live performance' came into question...i remember there was much ado about Madonna miming shit in her shows (she was dancing like a maniac, nobody can sing well doing that). So maybe there's something interesting to mine. I wonder how many people realise U2 have other musicians under the stage playing additional guitar parts..I don't think it matters that much but it brings into question the fact that a lot of performance is in fact an artifice.

  • Only From Hollywood!

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Can't wait for the love scene with Brüno

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    So hawt

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    professor murder

    by phifty2

    When are you and Killer B Killed going to make up? I said a rap rap a rap rap rap rap

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Whoever said it would be a drama? Could make a great comedy?

    by Drunken Busboy

    Like that Holly Hunter movie "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom". Excellent opportunity to show what a joke the music biz is! Nothing has changed many of todays recording stars are just as manufactured as Milli Vanilli were!

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Put a wig

    by proevad

    on that half black dude on Grey's Anatomy and he looks just like one of 'em.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 7:45 p.m. CST

    ba buppa buppa ba-baby! Don't forget mah numbah

    by Bobo_Vision

    Now do a biopic on Nineh Cherry and the buffalo stance.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 7:52 p.m. CST


    by Henry Fool

    I'd love to see someone like PT Anderson or David Fincher do a take on this story. Milli Vanilli were a cheesy act, even when everyone thought they could actually sing. Their story could serve as a pretty good allegory for the shallow, "me" culture that saturated the 1980's. Since, I'm not familiar with this director's work, it's hard to get excited about this project. I do think its a story that's worth telling. But the script for this is going to have to be savagely funny in order for this to be a good film.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 7:52 p.m. CST

    "Milli Vanilli paid us off in bicycle shorts and hair extensions."

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    Ford Fairlane = underrated

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    This was made for The Farrelly Brothers

    by Bobo_Vision

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Remember that Conan O'Brien sketch...

    by Anna Valerious

    ...where a "Milli Vanilli" musical is performed, and then closes within the first five minutes of its opening? Yeah, it's probably going to be like that.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Tracy Morgan and John C Reilly for Fab and Rob

    by landosystem

    Directed by Spike Jonze

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:42 p.m. CST

    well one of them committed suicide

    by D o o d

    so I think that's quite tragic.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Could be more interesting than most?

    by richievanderlow

    Yeah, and it could also be fucking terrible. Actually, I'd say most likely to be fucking terrible.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:46 p.m. CST

    ...starring Mos Def & Tim Meadows

    by Triple_J_72

    Damn, I should be a Hollywood casting agent.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 8:52 p.m. CST

    which wayans has dibs?

    by kanye west

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 9:31 p.m. CST

    I'll Download That Off The Internet

    by roguechef664

    I seem to remember one of the AICN regulars (I think it was Capone) saying in his review to Walk Hard that the music biopic was dead. That movie hit all the tropes. Now, this could be a very different kind of music biopic. Or, it could be like all the other forgettable ones. Will I pay, probably not. Wasn't much of a fan even then. What's next? Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam?? I can see it now Flannel: The Movie (Or was that Cameron Crowe's Singles?)

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Blame it on the Rain...

    by tailhook

    still a better song than anything Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga has put out.

  • Feb. 11, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Hope it's in 3D

    by mistergreen

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Glad to see some Ford Fairlane love!

    by fustfick

    It has long been a favorite of mine. Oh, and I always thought a Milli Vanilli movie could be amazing. Their E True Hollywood Story or VH1 Behind the Music B.S. was totally riveting - absolutely hilarious and tragic. The stuff great movies are made of.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 12:34 a.m. CST

    "But Ford we just wanted to be held!"

    by Shubniggorath

    "Ay! You got da bonus plan gyuhhh..." Love that fucking movie

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Fine. At least it's not a reboot of something.

    by HapaPapa72

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 1:01 a.m. CST

    damn.......they had some good songs

    by NorthTronic

    it would be nice if they showed who real sung the songs. curious.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 4:52 a.m. CST

    And what YOU are to the internet as a whole asi.

    by ChickenStu

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Will it be about....

    by justmyluck

    ...the models, the singers...or both? There's been models standing in for session singers in music videos before and since - the big success of MV caused the scandal. It was like the sampling scandals/lawsuits of the late 80s...overblown. MV was created by the producer of BONEY M, another big radio success in their time. Actually, the movie could really be about him: I think MV only had the 3 or 4 hits, which probably isn't enough collective recognition for today's audiences.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Whoever plays these guys, those actors' voices should be dubbed.

    by JackPumpkinhead

    In a tasteful homage.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 6:40 a.m. CST


    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

    was just about the worst period for music and fashion that ever existed. And these clowns are definite scions of that era. Fresh Prince, Crystal Pepsi, Mullets, Arsinio fist pump, the horror...

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 6:50 a.m. CST

    chickenstu, lame, very very lame.

    by AsimovLives

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 7:01 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 7:24 a.m. CST

    What as scandalous in 1990

    by ZooTrain

    Is standard today. Lip syncing is pretty much the norm.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 7:24 a.m. CST


    by ZooTrain


  • Feb. 12, 2011, 7:33 a.m. CST


    by JonChambers

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    I never call them Milli Vanilli

    by I Max U Mini

    I always call them Phony Baloney

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    This move should be poorly dubbed

    by Larry Knowles

    Maybe have the actors deliver their lines in Chinese and re-record the English lines later. That would make a statement!

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Asi managed to work in a Star Trek referece.

    by Jaster

    The man is an anthropological wonder. It would be nice if Ashley Simpson has a cameo. She could do her hillbilly dance.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Crap...someone beat me to the joke.

    by Larry Knowles

    Shit, I shoulda read the talkbacks first before posting. My "dubbed" joke was already made by alice133. Well done, sir. Sorry, I have no other clever comments at this time.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain Rain

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Lol, Asimov called ME lame!

    by ChickenStu

    Thanks Asi, I was having a shit day. You just cheered me up!

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Seriously... this could be good...

    by ChickenStu

    But they need someone like Aaron Sorkin to make it work...

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I'm There...

    by Oprah_Duke

    On CP Time!

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Wow! I had no idea it was April 1st already.

    by Dr Gregory House

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Is the sondtrack to this film gonna be available on casette ???

    by Wilford_Brimleys_Diabetes_Rage

    When this film comes to my theater ill proudly be wearing my Day-Glo parachute pants & my neon green glow in the dark New Kids On The Block T-Shirt...pleading for people to vote for Dukakis

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 12:06 p.m. CST

    rise_of_fett, i try to get out but they keep pulling me back in.

    by AsimovLives

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Cool Asimov, as long as I can call you a cunt...

    by ChickenStu

  • The problem was it wasn't even them singing on the records. The vocals for all their songs were sung by other singers. They should cast the guy who plays Barca on Spartacus - he already has the hair.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Might be interesting

    by obidawsn

    I though it was a joke, at first, too, wondering where the story was. But then I remembered the guy committing suicide. There are a lot of movies out there about the fall of bands (especially one hit wonders). I know Milli Vanilli didn't attract the geek crowds as much (or those who thought they were cool), and they especially don't relate to anyone, today. But that may be why it will work. If they focus on the tragedy that happened afterwards. We can see their rise to fame, then their fall, and ultimately their demise (literally). Like others have said, if done right it could be a well done tragedy. This director has won an Academy Award (albeit for a short-film, but still) and has won acclaim. We may not know him to really know his work, but that doesn't mean he isn't the right person for the job. As for the lipsynching fiasco, I remember it being a bit sad as I believe they released music afterwards using their own voice and it actually sounded better. I wonder if they could actually sing, but the record label didn't like it so they changed who they were. That could possibly be a part of the tragedy. I know there are a lot of good artists out there who get ran over by the higher ups in the music industry. They end up being changed by it. They change their image, and in this case possibly even their entire identity by changing their voices. What if they were good singers who got steamrolled by industry? Their careers and lives were ruined, but all along they really did have talent? Now that might really make for a good movie and bring to light some of the horrible things that happen in the music industry.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Theres omly three good things that came out of the 1988-91 era

    by Wilford_Brimleys_Diabetes_Rage

    The true rise of Nintendo,Traci Lords Porno & media that didin't pander to the lowest common denominator

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Supposedly this has been in the works for a while

    by obidawsn

    Trying to read up on Milli Vanilli to see what happened to them, I went to Wikipedia and Universal announced on February 14, 2007 (almost 4 years ago to the day), that they were looking to make the movie. Kennedy/Marshall were players then as well, but they had the Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me if You Can) writing along with Kennedy/Marshall and Adam Yoelin (not sure who he is, if someone can give some insight, I couldn't find anything on Wikipedia or IMDB). They also said that Fab Morvan (the remaining lead singer) was consulting. So this could be a more personal look at what happened.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:39 p.m. CST

    The sad thing is, with the advent of auto-tune, the fact that they can't

    by Coughlins Laws

    sing isn't even a minus anymore. They were more of a dancing act, anyway. If they came out today, they would've been allowed to sing on their own songs. Oh, well. These are the times we live in...

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Ironically, every major pop star today...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...lipsynchs like a motherfucker all the time, I mean, ALL the fuckin' time. Music is well and truly DEAD. Instead of being villified, the industry oughta put up gigantic, heroic statues of the Vanillis and celebrate them as forward-looking heroes.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:49 p.m. CST


    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ... Pixies put out some awesome albums, Soundgarden didn't suck yet, Nirvana broke. It all went downhill fast after 1996 or so though after Clinton signed the 1996 Telecommunications Act and Sony took over the industry.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Absolutly HAS to have a cameo by...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...HAMMER! Just has to. Wearing his baggy parachute pants and eating KFC Popcorn Chicken.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    I agree that this was a pretty terrible era in popular culture. Still some good stuff came out. Die Hard. Burton's threefer of Beetlejuice, Batman, and Edward Scissorhands. That's all I can think of, haha. I also got my NES early in that timeframe, although it had already been around a couple years. But that's when many of the most classic NES games were coming out. I guess we're mostly talking about movies and music in this thread.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    We already know Milli's fate from BRUNO

    by UTexLex

    The scene where Bruno goes to the psychic medium to channel Milli's ghost...One of the funniest scenes in a movie in past five years.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Asimov's gone a bit quiet hasn't he?

    by ChickenStu

    No fucking surprise there!

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    All I can say is...

    by Datascream

    Girl you know it's Girl you know it's Girl you know it's Girl you know it's Girl you know it's Girl you know it's Girl you know it's...etc.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    1988-1991 worst period for music and fashion that ever existed??

    by DonLogan

    The Stone Roses, Acid House, ecstacy culture, Die Hard, Pixies, New Order, The Jesus and Mary Chain, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Straight Outta Compton, Morrissey Viva Hate, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches by Happy Mondays, Sonic Youth, The La's, Nirvana, Screamadelica, Massive Attack Blue Lines, A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory, Drugstore Cowboy, Heathers, John Woo's The Killer, GoodFellas, The Grifters, The Hunt for Red October, Jacob's Ladder, Miller's Crossing, Misery, Total Recall, Barton Fink, JFK, Point Break, The Silence of the Lambs, T2, Akira, Big, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Simpsons, Twin Peaks, TMNT, Steffi Graf, Bill & Ted, Barbour Jackets, Prozac, Blackadder goes Forth, Gameboy, Mike Tyson Heavyweight champion, end of the cold war, Madchester... I don't remember it being a terrible era in pop culture but i suppose it depends where you were at the time.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 8:25 p.m. CST


    by DonLogan


  • Feb. 12, 2011, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Potential to be as good as Social Network

    by Risker

    Dunno if this has already been said but really guys, this could be played in numerous ways and still work. Lip-synching. Guys performing songs they didn't write. Style over substance. Make the money and run attitudes. Self-delusion when they try to take a stand. Suicide. Drug overdose. Humiliated for the world to see. Not to mention the amount of people that had to be in on the secret to make the whole process work. As long as they pay attention to the actual machinary of how the pop industry works and how ruthless it is, it could really work. Fuck guys, look at the Bieber. I don't hate the guy, I hate the process and the merciless guys who push him out on to our conciousness without him necessarily knowing what's going on. This could be an expose of all of it. As long as they don't get McG to helm it.

  • Feb. 12, 2011, 9:40 p.m. CST

    All the boy bands from the New Kids to N'Sync were manufactured....

    by Bobo_Vision well as a lot of pop stars. American Idol is practically a backstage pass to a bunch of sleazy producers looking to market someone to the masses...yet the masses still buy it. This story could be great.....or it could be on The Lifetime's all in the execution.

  • Feb. 13, 2011, 7:38 a.m. CST

    RE:Well, just because they weren't the best....

    by Garett


  • Feb. 13, 2011, 7:42 a.m. CST

    RE:Well, just because they weren't the best....

    by Garett

    It wasn`t that they aren`t the best. It was the fact they were imposters.. They did not sing on any songs they won grammys and had there grammys taken back for.. This movie should focus on the real singer. These two guys should not only be broke living in the ghetto they should be removed from pop culture all together.. The Actual singer tried to come out and sing after they got caught but was not received well at all selling maybe 20 copies of his debut album! All in All this is another sign that Hollywood has run out of compitent Writers! there is literally thousands of fresh ideas sitting at your local book store thousands more are written and released every month! Please hollywood go dig up an ORIGINAL script!!!

  • Had to be said.

  • Feb. 13, 2011, 12:44 p.m. CST

    larry and alice133 beat me to it

    by empyreal0

    Damn you witty talkbackers.

  • Feb. 13, 2011, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Shoot it Bourne style

    by Dookie_Lumpkins

    do the shaky cam to symbolize the audience nodding back and forth saying "I can't believe I'm watching this shit"

  • The record company, the agents and especially the guy who formed the group and the real singers themselves would make an amazing film.

  • Feb. 14, 2011, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Lipsynching as norm

    by SSquirrel

    Maybe so, but they're at least lipsynching to their OWN vocals. Milli Vanilli couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and were just pretty faces for some older songwriters who sang the songs in studio. Unluckily for them, a public performance had their backing track stick on a single phrase.

  • Feb. 14, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Go to Youtube and watch "Baby, Don't forget my Number"....

    by Bobo_Vision's a great song, I don't care what anybody says...and then picture the Real Milli Vanilli watching the video in 1989 while these two models lip sync for them...and picture Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright playing the Real Milli Vanilli...and you've got the makings of a good movie.

  • Feb. 14, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    "considering the state of modern pop music"

    by Spandau Belly

    Jeez, when somebody says something like this you know he's just one of these nostalgic old guys who will rant and rave about how he was so lucky to grow up in a time with good "real" music and how musicians used to play "real" instruments and wear "real" socks and real-real old-old blah blah blah.

  • Feb. 14, 2011, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Real socks

    by SSquirrel

    Michael Jackson wore real socks. Covered in rhinestones :)

  • Feb. 14, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Wow this will make a great comedy! Suicide is funny!!

    by Dark Doom

    Rob Pilatus dead!! Ha ha ha haaa. Ack..

  • Feb. 14, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Arnold to play both Milly and Vanilli!

    by UltraTron

    Datz riight! Ahv jus red da scrip an itz a goh! I vill be plahyin bohth da Milly an da Vanilli trew da didjatuhl process dere. Which iss soh fahnee becuz datz vat de chillren in awwstreeah yooz tew cahll me dere. Dey wud zay -hey! Dere cumz da Milly Vanilli mahn! Which uv corhse I touht wuz fuhnny becuz in de awwstreean daht trahnslate tew da big man who bring da icescreem dere