Apr 5, 2024 - Culture

Pharrell Williams musical will film in Richmond this spring and summer

Pharrell Williams, looking fly

Pharrell Williams last month at the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia . Photo: Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Image

A coming-of-age musical from Pharrell Williams and the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director will film in Virginia this spring and summer, the governor's office announced Friday.

Why it matters: A "significant" amount will film in the Richmond area, the Virginia Film Office tells Axios.

  • And that means celeb sightings around town.

The big picture: Rumors have been swirling for months that a musical based on Grammy-award winning, Virginia Beach native Pharrell's life would film in Virginia some time this year.

  • Dubbed "Atlantis" in the press, for the name of Pharrell's childhood Atlantis Apartments neighborhood, the unnamed film has been in the works since at least 2017.

Gov. Youngkin announced the details Friday: A film "set in Virginia Beach in the summer of 1977, and inspired by Atlantis Apartments," will film in Central and Coastal Virginia this spring and summer.

  • "This high-profile project will place a global spotlight on Virginia as both an incomparable place to visit and as a preferred destination for investment from this growing industry," Youngkin said in a statement.

Zoom in: Kelvin Harrison Jr. ("Waves," "Chevalier") is set to star, per a news release, and Halle Bailey ("The Color Purple," "The Little Mermaid") and Da'Vine Joy Randolph ("The Holdovers") are also involved, Deadline reports.

  • Worth noting: The film will be eligible for Virginia film tax credits and grants and is expected to bring jobs and significant economic impact through tourism, hotels and hospitality to the state.

What we're watching: For celebrities! Will Pharrell's good friends Beyoncé and Jay-Z pop by for a day or two? What about Mary J. Blige or fellow Hampton Roads native Missy Elliott, who are both rumored to be attached to the project?

  • Keep your eyes peeled and your cameras out, Richmond. It's going to be an exciting few months.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Richmond stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more