A Disgraced Musical Duo Are Getting A Biopic

One of the most notorious rises and falls of a pop duo in recent music history is getting the biopic treatment.

By Vic Medina | Published

milli vanilli

One of the biggest scandals in pop music history is getting a movie, as the story of Milli Vanilli is getting the big-screen treatment by filmmakers from Germany, where the controversial duo originated. According to a report by Deadline, Girl You Know It’s True is currently in production in Munich, and the first promotional still from the film has been released. It features actors Elan Ben Ali as Fabrice Morvan (in black in the picture below) and Tijan Njie as Robert Pilatus (in red), and the pair bears an almost eerie resemblance to the real duo.

The film will reportedly depict both their rise and fall from fame, including the death of Rob Pilatus from an alcohol and drug overdose in 1998. Surprisingly, the film is being made with the assistance of some of those involved in the scandal, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Brad Howell, who was one of the actual voices who sang on the Milli Vanilli album, is an associate producer. John Davis, the other “real” voice on the album, died in 2021 from COVID-19, but his daughter Jasmin Davis is also an associate producer on the film. Also producing is Carmen Pilatus, the sister of the late Rob Pilatus. Fabrice Morvan, the surviving member of the duo, is not participating in the film.

Girl You Know It’s True is being produced by Leonine Studios and Wiedemann & Berg Film and is both written and directed by Simon Verhoeven, who directed the 2016 horror film Friend Request with Alycia Debnam-Carey (Fear the Walking Dead). Kevin Liles of 300 Entertainment is producing on the American side. Actors Tijan Njie and Elan Ben Ali are relative newcomers, each having only appeared in small roles in German productions. Matthias Schweighöfer, best known for playing Dieter in the Zack Snyder film Army of the Dead and its sequel, Army of Thieves, is starring as German music producer Frank Farian, the man who masterminded the Milli Vanilli deception. Graham Rogers and Bella Dayne also star in the film. Although the movie is being produced by German filmmakers, it will be an English-speaking film for American release. Some scenes will be filmed in Los Angeles.

In 1990, Milli Vanilli was on top of the music world, having sold millions of copies of their debut album Girl You Know Its True (hence the film’s title) and winning a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. However, rumors had persisted for months that the duo may not have sung the vocals on their album, especially after media interviews revealed that the pair could barely speak English. During a 1989 concert, as the pair lip-synched during a concert, their vocal track skipped, making it fairly obvious the pair weren’t singing. In the pre-internet era, however, rumors and accusations against the pair gained traction, and producers admitted in late 1990 that they never provided any vocals for the album. The lip-sync scandal rocked the industry, and their Grammy was revoked later that year, the only time that has ever happened.