- Lead actors are Tijan Njie as Robert Pilatus and Elan Ben Ali as Fabrice Morvan
- Matthias Schweighöfer stars as Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian
- Writer and director is multi award-winning filmmaker Simon Verhoeven
- Produced by Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann, producers of the Academy Award® winning feature film THE LIVES OF OTHERS, the two-time Academy Award® nominated NEVER LOOK AWAY, and the groundbreaking Netflix Original Series DARK
Los Angeles, September 1, 2022 - European major LEONINE Studios reveals first look on its international biopic GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE, produced by Wiedemann & Berg Film.
After a year of intense casting in five countries, newcomers Tijan Njie from Germany and Elan Ben Ali from France are set to portray the lead roles of the Milli Vanilli frontmen Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, the top-charting pop and R&B duo. Matthias Schweighöfer (Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer”, “Heart of Stone”, “Army of the Dead”) is starring as German music producer Frank Farian. The cast also includes Graham Rogers (“Ray Donovan”, “The Kominsky Method”, “Atypical”) as Milli Vanilli’s US assistant Todd and Bella Dayne (“Humans”, “Troy – Fall of a City”) as Milli, Farian’s right-hand.
The film is centered around the true story of the notorious scandal involving dancers Robert Pilatus’ and Fabrice Morvan’s rise to fame in the late 1980s as pop sensation Milli Vanilli. Orchestrated by music producer Frank Farian, they became global stars with three No. 1 hits in the US. But only a small circle of insiders know that the duo is not singing but lip syncing to the voices of two other artists. At the height of their fame, Milli Vanilli win the Grammy Award but the situation behind the scenes escalates and the pressure on Rob and Fab grows. When the truth is revealed, they stare into the abyss while the world witnesses one of the biggest scandals in music history.
Multi award-winning filmmaker Simon Verhoeven is directing, based on his original screenplay GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE. Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann, producers of the Academy Award® winning film THE LIVES OF OTHERS, the two-time Academy Award® nominated film NEVER LOOK AWAY and the groundbreaking Netflix Original Series DARK are producing. Producer Kirstin Winkler (“2012”, “10,000 BC”, “Anonymous”) is overseeing production.
Principal photography takes place in Munich and Berlin (Germany), Capetown (South Africa) and Los Angeles (USA). Filming will wrap in December 2022. The film follows a true language approach and is shot almost entirely in English. The title echoes Milli Vanilli’s 1989 break-out hit GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE, originally written by the US Hip-Hop group Numarx and later covered by successful music producer Frank Farian.
Kevin Liles, member of Numarx, legendary co-founder and CEO of music company 300 Entertainment is executive producing alongside co-producers Simon Verhoeven, Frank Farian and Stefan Gärtner. Associate producers are Jasmin Davis, daughter of the late John Davis, and Brad Howell, who were the true voices of Milli Vanilli and invaluable consultants in the development phase. Carmen Pilatus, sister of the late Rob Pilatus, Milli Vanilli’s former assistant Todd Headlee, and Ingrid Segieth aka Milli, Frank Farian’s right-hand, are also attached as associate producers.
Writer and director Simon Verhoeven says: “GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE is captivating on so many levels. It not only tells the spectacular rise of two underdogs making it to the zenith of showbiz within one summer, it also gives a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of that illusory world of fame and its sometimes tragic and unscrupulous machinations. Personally, I think Rob and Fab did not deserve to become the sole scapegoats of this scandal.”
Quirin Berg, Chief Creative Officer and Chief Production Officer of LEONINE Studios: “GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE comes from the heart of a decade when MTV planted its flag on the moon and we were able to see music, not just listen to it. Our film celebrates Rob and Fab and what they achieved with Milli Vanilli and at the same time Simon’s fantastic screenplay also captures the complexity and ultimately tragic dimension that came with it. He offers not just an immensely entertaining take on the story but also a layer of critical reflection that asks many questions which seem more relevant today than ever. It took many years to secure the music rights and it’s a huge milestone to see this project in production now.”
The film is produced by LEONINE Studios and Wiedemann & Berg Film, in co-production with Sentana Film, SevenPictures and Mediawan. The production is financially supported by German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Board (FFA), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MFG Baden-Württemberg and Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Digitales. All rights are with LEONINE Studios.
Independently from LEONINE Studios’ feature film, US entertainment company MRC is producing a documentary on Milli Vanilli, directed by Luke Korem. Korem also serves as a producer via his Keep on Running Pictures. Bradley Jackson and Fulwell 73 also produce. Hanif Abdurraqib will executive produce. Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann, Simon Verhoeven and Kirstin Winkler are serving as associate producers on this documentary project as well.
Theo Dumont, Alta Global Media
Head of Fiction PR Wiedemann & Berg Film and LEONINE Studios
Tel. +49 (0)89 999513 – 0