Gill tells Billboard that plans are already underway for some new sounds from the band, which will accompany the film later this year, or possibly next year. It will be the group’s first album since 2004’s “One Love.”
“I have put aside some songs already for New Edition,” Gill reports. “We’re gonna try to have the album ready to go by the time the movie’s out, by 2017 when the movie drops. I’m making plans to start the recording process with that as well.”
The film is currently being cast, with some roles already determined but not announced yet. According to Variety, five of the group’s members, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant, will reunite for the three-night miniseries, slated to premiere in 2016. All five will co-produce the untitled project.
“I was just disappointed that Denzel [Washington] wasn’t available to play me,” Gill says with a laugh. “Actually, I just want somebody who can capture the essence of me, and I think that’s important for all of us in the movie. That’s going to be the most important thing in telling this story is that these actor capture the essence of who we are. We’re hands-on involved as well. We have to spend time with them. They’re going to spend time with us for a week or two and kinda just get to know us and our personalities and get insight and stuff like that. It’s going to be interesting when it all comes together, but everybody’s gonna get a chance to tell and see what our story’s like. We can’t wait.”
In a statement, New Edition said of the biopic, “We are ready to retrace our footsteps and show everyone how we got here.”
New Edition founding member Bobby Brown was not mentioned in the release announcing the biopic on Monday. When the six members reunited last year, Brown left their tour early.
New Edition is featured on Gill’s latest single, ”This One’s for Me and You,” from his late 2014 solo album “Game Changer.”
“We were midway through finishing up and mixing, and I was laying the guys some of the songs from the album,” Gill recalls. “I just happened to play them this song, and the guys looked at me and it was real quiet, and the guys looked at me and it was like, ‘Come on, man.’ I was like, ‘What?’ They’re like, ‘This is a New Edition song that we need to be part of.’ And I’m like, ‘Are y’all serious?’ And they were like, ‘Man, let us get up on this song,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ So I went in and recorded them and it became a New Edition song, and I was so happy and grateful and blessed because I’ve never had New Edition on one of my albums. So this was special to me and such a blessing and such a pleasant surprise that they wanted to be here and wanted to be part of it and support this project.”
Gill is currently touring to promote “Game Changer.” He’ll also be on the road later in the year, after a New Edition summer tour that will be announced soon.