Céline Dion is the subject of a forthcoming biopic, The Power of Love, slated for release in 2020. French star Valérie Lemercier will direct the film and play the singer. Dion, 50, has authorised the project and granted the rights to her songs, Variety reports.
The Power of Love will follow Dion from her childhood in Quebec in the 1960s, where she was the youngest of 14 children in what she has described as a poor but happy family, to her teenage rise to fame.
Dion made her first recording, Ce n’était qu’un rêve, aged 12. She wrote the song with her mother Thérèse and brother Jacques. Another brother, Michael, sent the song to manager René Angélil, who remortgaged his home to fund her first album. Angélil and Dion married in December 1994 and remained together until his death in January 2016.
Lemercier said she was touched by Dion’s grief following Angélil’s death, and began learning about Dion, her husband and mother . “I discovered the strength of their love story and their great humour, and I better understood how the alchemy of their three individual ambitions made an unwanted little girl the greatest star on the planet,” Lemercier said.
Cécile Gaget of French studio Gaumont said the film would be “in the vein of “[forthcoming Elton John biopic] Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody, but unlike those movies which were produced and released by studios, The Power of Love is a potential box office hit accessible to independent distributors”. Of the director, she added: “She’s a powerhouse who knows how to move and how to dance. And she’s an perfectionist and an overachiever in many ways like Dion.”
Lemercier has directed a number of domestic hits, including Palais Royal! and 50 Is the New 30, and has a background as a chanteuse, herself performing one-woman shows in Paris.
The Power of Love joins a recent glut of music biopics and musician-endorsed movies. Bruce Springsteen has endorsed and lent 16 of his songs to the soundtrack of Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light, an adaptation of Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir about discovering Springsteen as a Muslim teenager growing up in 80s Britain. The film was acquired for $15m by New Line and Warner Bros at Sundance.
The Dirt, an adaptation of the Mötley Crüe biography of the same name, will premiere on Netflix in March. The heavy metal band have recorded four new songs for the film’s soundtrack, which also features 14 of their hits.
Dion will play her only European date of 2019 at London’s Hyde Park this summer, headlining the British Summer Time festival. It will be her first performance in the UK since summer 2017. The concert will come shortly after she completes her Las Vegas concert residency, which began in 2011 and will close on 8 June.
She recently removed her 1998 duet with R Kelly, I’m Your Angel, from streaming services, following the broadcast of the Lifetime documentary series, Surviving R Kelly.