Timbaland To Exec Produce TV Adaptation Of Graphic Novel ‘Neon Empire’


EXCLUSIVE: Timbaland is getting into graphic novels and television.

The music producer behind Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River and Missy Elliott’s Supa Dupa Fly is getting involved in Neon Empire.

Neon Empire, which was created by Jared Gutstadt, founder and CEO of podcast company Audio Up Media, is being released as a graphic novel later this fall.

Timbaland is co-producing the original soundtrack to go with the graphic novel and will exec produce a television adaptation, which is in the works.

Neon Empire centers around the fictional character Kountry Boi, a “hick-hop” star who goes from rap rags to hick-hop riches while coming to terms with his troubled past. The story centers around a criminal enterprise set in Nashville.

Timbaland will write and co-produce the soundtrack with Gutstadt with a number of country and hip-hop artists involved including Bezz Believe, who will also voice the graphic novel’s main character Kountry Boi, Colt Graves, and Clayton Johnson. The soundtrack will also feature an original track from the Beatclub ecosystem, the music creator platform founded by Timbaland. 

The graphic novel will include music through QR codes. 

“This is innovative storytelling and music at its most disruptive,” said Timbaland.  “Jared and I think the same and have done lots of great work with one another. When we get together, the results are epic. New lanes like graphic novels create new laneways for music discovery and stars of the future.”

Neon Empire is the first of a new book product launching from Audio Up in conjunction with our music label The Audio Chateau,” added Gutstadt. “Imagine a world where a graphic novel brings you into a three-dimensional musical offering filled with original songs and stories. We see Neon Empire as a way for the print publishing business to connect the world of music publishing and masters. This is a brand-new paradigm for the entertainment business.”

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