Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Joepie, December 1978: The story of ABBA soon on the silver screen?

Little did the writer of this Belgian article know that 30 years later there would actually be a musical movie in the theatres, based on ABBA's songs. And while being at it, even giving Grease a run for its money as the most succesful film musical of all time.
The success of ‘Grease’ hasn’t gone unnoticed by the ABBA-members either, although they’re very reluctant in their comments on the movie. However, friends of the Swedish foursome claim that Björn and Benny have seen the movie three times and that they were quite impressed with the result and the mania it has caused.
“ABBA claims that the recording sessions for the new album don’t run very smoothly, that they’ve fallen behind on their schedule,” wrote a Swedish reporter, who knows the foursome rather well. “The truth is much more simple: the boys didn’t want to release a new album at a time when all focus is on ‘Grease’. They want to wait until the mania has died down a little, and if you ask me, that’s a very clever move...”
Rumours are now circulating that ABBA has the intention of making an identical movie, and that negotiations with a well-known American film producer are already ongoing.
We called Benny about this subject, and he told us: “Indeed, there are plans to make a motion picture, but they already date back to the period when there wasn’t even talk of ‘Grease’. We’ve seen ‘Grease’ and we think it’s an excellent movie. But not in any way is it our intention to copy it. We’ve always been original with our music, when we make a movie we want to be original as well...”
Before long, Björn, Benny, Frida and Anna will be leaving for the States, where they will be guests on one of America’s most popular television shows. An appointment with the film producer – whose name they don’t want to reveal just yet – is on their schedule as well.
Benny: “The intention is to make a musical motion picture, that more or less tells the story about the origins of ABBA. How I met Björn, how I fell in love with Frida. And how Björn and Anna found each other. Several romantic scenes will be sung, and those parts will be released on record later. That might be the only comparison to ‘Grease’. It will also be a kind of an ABBA-scoop, because for the first time since the group was established, duo records will be released, by Frida and me, but by Anna and Björn as well. For quite some time we hesitated to make this movie, exactly because we were afraid we’d be accused of plagiarizing ‘Grease’. In the end, we will go ahead with it, because our fans have known for a long time that we intended to, and they’ll probably know that we won’t make a ‘Grease’-plagiarism...”

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