“The New Edition Story” premieres on BET January 24th.
He’s the executive producer of “The New Edition Story,” a music biopic on the 80s boy band, who released a string of hits such as “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and “Cool It Now.”
Directed by Chris Robinson and told in a three-part miniseries, “The New Edition Story” follows the meteoric rise of the six-man band from their humble Boston beginnings to global mega stardom, and chronicles all the ups and downs of legendary music group. Sanctioned by all six members of the group, who also serve as producers on the movie, the biopic re-creates both New Edition’s choreographed moves and iconic videos and also touches on their public spats and brawls.
“We were so fortunate to be able to have them there when we were preparing and prepping for the movie,” says Elijah Kelley, who plays Ricky Bell. “Every day in rehearsal, somebody would be there. Some days, everybody would be there. The most invigorating part was them getting up in their older age and doing all the choreography in front of us.”
The cast includes Luke James who plays Johnny Gill, Woody McClain (Bobby Brown), Elijah Kelley (Ricky Bell), Algee Smith (Ralph Tresvant), Keith Powers (Ronnie DeVoe) and “Empire’s” Bryshere Gray as Michael Bivins. Melvin Jackson Jr. and Faizon Love round up the main cast as Kurtis Blow and Maurice Starr.
N.W.A’s origin story “Straight Outta Compton” was one of 2015’s biggest hits and with last year’s “Miles Ahead,” which focused on Jazz musician Miles Davis’ life, and biopics on James Brown to Jimi Hendrix, and the upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic, musicians have always been great fodder for movies, since they come with a built-in rise to fame with often turbulent careers and struggles.
“We’re talking about a group that started as a boy band, and then evolved from there into adult superstars. Not even just as a group, but as individuals, New Edition gave us Bobby Brown, BBD, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, all solo stars on their own right. But then, collectively, you know, New Edition, “Heartbreak” album, “Home Again” album, mega success. And there is not another group in music history that’s ever done that,” says Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.
Formerly Executive Producer and Executive Vice President of Cossette Productions, Collins has produced award-winning television programming including the Grammy Awards, UNCF An Evening of Stars, BET Awards, BET Honors, BET Hip Hop Awards, Rip the Runway and ABFF Awards.
“The New Edition Story” premieres on BET January 24th. Check out the trailer below: