Warner Music has partnered with the estate of legendary French artist Edith Piaf on groundbreaking AI technology which will recreate her voice and image.
Warner Music Entertainment and production company Seriously Happy will develop the first animated biopic of an artist using AI. The film will tell Piaf’s incredible story of how she overcame struggles to become a symbol of female empowerment and one of France’s most iconic artists of all time.
AI technology trained on hundreds of voice clips and images, some of which are over 80 years old, will enable Piaf’s voice and image to be revived for the production. Recordings from her original songs will be used, including iconic hits such as La Vie En Rose and Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.
Edith is set to be a 90-minute film which will take place in Paris and New York from the 1920s to 1960s. Narrated with Piaf’s voice, the animation will provide a modern take on her story, while the inclusion of archival footage, stage and TV performances, personal footage, and TV interviews.
Edith is based on an original idea from Julie Veille and has been written by Veille and Gilles Marliac. The pair are working alongside Warner Music Entertainment’s president, Charlie Cohen, to bring the script and technology to life through the full-length feature.
In recent years, Edith Piaf’s songs have been used in blockbuster movies, international series and global advertising campaigns. They have generated nearly 300 million streams to date.
Julie Veille said: “It has been the greatest privilege to work alongside Edith’s estate to help bring her story into the 21st century. When creating the film, we kept asking ourselves, ‘If Edith were still with us, what messages would she want to convey to the younger generations?’ Her story is one of incredible resilience, of overcoming struggles, and defying social norms to achieve greatness – and one that is as relevant now as it was then. Our goal is to utilise the latest advancements in animation and technology to bring the timeless story to audiences of all ages.”
Catherine Glavas and Christie Laume, executors of Edith Piaf’s Estate, said: “It’s been a special and touching experience to be able to hear Edith’s voice once again – the technology has made it feel like we were back in the room with her. The animation is beautiful and through this film we’ll be able to show the real side of Edith – her joyful personality, her humour, and her unwavering spirit.”
Alain Veille, CEO, Warner Music France, added: “Edith is one of France’s greatest ever artists and she is still a source of so much pride to the French people. It is such a delicate balancing act when combining new technology with heritage artists, and it was imperative to us that we worked closely with Edith’s estate and handled this project with the utmost respect. Her story is one that deserves to be told, and through this film we’ll be able to connect with a whole new audience and inspire a new generation of fans.”
A proof of concept has been created, and Warner Music Entertainment will be partnering with a studio to develop the full-length film.