Michael Flatley, the creator and star of iconic Irish dance shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, is set to have his life and career dramatized on-screen.
As first reported by Variety, the series, tentatively titled Dancelord, is a “no holds barred biopic” that will chronicle the highs and lows of Flatley’s colorful life. It is produced by StoryFirst and written by Micho Rutare (Z Nation), with casting handled by Jessica Sherman (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Casting is expected to begin imminently.
“For every transcendent moment onstage, Flatley endures grueling hours of pain and the loneliness of the road,” reads the official synopsis (per Variety). “Taunted by the media and, at times, doubted by everyone but his fans, Flatley bounces back time and again, dancing from his heart well into middle age and transforming Irish dance forever.”
Flatley is recognized for bringing new life to traditional Irish dance, incorporating new elements and rhythms, as well as influences from tap and contemporary dance. His shows have seen huge success, playing to more than 70 million people in 60 countries and grossing over $1 billion.
StoryFirst’s Rod Gunner and Peter Gerwe will serve as executive producers alongside Flatley. Ben Rosenblatt and Rutare will also executive produce through their American Meme banner, while Gary Marenzi will handle worldwide sales.
“I’m honored and humbled to be able to share my story with the world and confident that StoryFirst will deliver an inspirational and, hopefully, motivational message to people everywhere,” Flatley said in a statement. “If you work hard and follow your dreams, then nothing is impossible.”
“I’ve known Michael for many years and it never ceases to amaze me how he consistently confronts adversity head on, in everything he does, whatever the odds, and never considers potential defeat,” Gunner added. “The Dancelord series dramatically demonstrates that remarkable determination to his legion of fans all over the world, whilst illustrating his unique talent.”
Meanwhile, Rosenblatt said, “We are so grateful that Michael Flatley, one of one, has put his full trust and faith in us to tell his compelling story. While I’ve been aware of Michael’s work since I was a kid, I was genuinely blown away when I learned the behind-the-scenes story of how it all came to be. With Micho’s eloquent words and Rod’s experience and talent, I know that this will be a special project with a team uniquely suited to convey the essence of this unique man’s incredible journey.”