Filmmaker Brett Ratner, disgraced following sexual misconduct allegations, is attempting a comeback with a biopic on Milli Vanilli, disgraced after an infamous lip-syncing scandal.
Deadline reports that Millennium Media (The Expendables, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) has joined Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment in developing the project. The film would mark Ratner’s first directing gig since 2014’s Dwayne Johnson vehicle Hercules.
Ratner hasn’t been heard from much since 2017 when a number of women stepped forward with accusations of sexual misconduct and assault. Olivia Munn said the filmmaker had masturbated in front of her and boasted of ejaculating on pictures of her while on set of 2004’s After the Sunset. Natasha Henstridge accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him at a party. Others said Ratner would frequently use inappropriate language on set and doggedly pursue unwanted relationships.
Elliot Page recalled Ratner outing him on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand when the actor was just 18 and “had not yet come out to myself.” “He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: ‘You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay,'” Page recounted.
The accusations forced Warner Bros. to cut ties with Ratner, severing a lucrative development deal that included a quickly-canceled Hugh Hefner biopic. While denying the claims, the Rush Hour filmmaker has largely disappeared from Hollywood. However, he resurfaced earlier this month when his purchased the life rights to Jamie and Joel Rogozinski, the founders of the WallStreetBets group that led to the GameStop stock uprising. (Numerous other production companies are also developing WallStreetBets films.)
Milli Vanilli, meanwhile, were megastars of late ’80s dance-pop and R&B music with hits like “Girl You Know It’s True”, “Blame It on the Rain”, and “Baby Don’t Forget My Number”. Made up of German-French duo Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, the group took home the 1990 Best New Artist Grammy. However, they were forced to return the trophy a few months later when it was revealed they never sang on any of their records and lip-synced throughout their life performances. They attempted a career as Rob & Fab after the scandal, but their legacy was forever tarnished. Pilatus died in 1998 at the age of 33.
Ratner has been wanting to make the Milli Vanilli biopic for years. The project has been around in some form for over a decade, with Ratner coming aboard early after the departure of original writer-director Florian Gallenberger.