Music (2021 film)

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Music (2020 film) 2.jpg
Film poster[1]
Directed bySia
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story bySia
Music bySia
CinematographySebastian Winterø
Edited byMatt Chessé[2]
  • Landay Entertainment
  • Pineapple Lasagne[3]
  • Atlantic Films
Distributed by
Release date
  • February 12, 2021 (2021-02-12) (United States)
CountryUnited States
Budget$16 million[4]

Music is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by singer-songwriter Sia. The film's screenplay was co-written by Sia and children's book author Dallas Clayton.[5][6] and stars Kate Hudson, Maddie Ziegler and Leslie Odom Jr.


Zu (Kate Hudson), a newly sober drug dealer and self-saboteur finds herself the sole guardian of her teenaged (minor), autistic half-sister, Music (Maddie Ziegler). Zu is a free spirit barely able to take care of herself, let alone her sister; Zu struggles with this new responsibility, but soon learns that life's obstacles are made easier with a little help from a friend, Ebo (Leslie Odom Jr.), a neighbor whose own family story makes him someone Zu can learn from and rely upon. The film explores the tenuous bonds that hold us together and imagines a world where those bonds can be strengthened in times of great challenge. Fantasy musical sequences show how the title character views the world.


Background and development[edit]

Sia announced the film project at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, to star Maddie Ziegler, who starred in a series of music videos that Sia co-directed with Daniel Askill[8][9] and who has danced during many of Sia's live performances.[9][10] After creating the music video for "Chandelier" in 2014, Sia decided she was "pretty good" at directing and "felt a little bit braver".[8] The film's screenplay was co-written by Sia and children's book author Dallas Clayton based on a one-page story that she had written in 2007.[11] Sia enjoyed the creative process and noted similarities between directing and writing songs. She said:

For me, the process was basically, I work out the movie. I'll act it out, I'll have the dialogue already in my head ... I can't be bothered to learn Final Draft. ... Like, when I sing, I just want to sing the melody and write the lyrics. I don't want to have to do production, which is very technical. I don't enjoy that.[8][9]

The project, originally conceived as a non-musical film, was subsequently written as a musical, with songs by Sia and choreography by Sia's frequent collaborator Ryan Heffington. It was first given the working title Sister and subsequently renamed Music.[12][13] Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr. joined Ziegler as co-stars.[14] The film was shot in mid-2017.[15] At that time, Ziegler was 14 years old.[16]

Planned release[edit]

Sia stated in 2019 that the film was set for release in October of that year.[17] As of June 2020, it was expected to be released in 2020,[18] but IMAX has announced a limited release in February 2021.[19] The film's producers have announced that HanWay Films is handling global sales.[2]


Sia wrote 10 songs for the film; she released "Together" as the lead single from the soundtrack on May 20, 2020.[20] A second single, "Courage to Change", was released on September 24, 2020,[21] followed closely by "Hey Boy" on November 19, 2020.[22]

In addition to the film's soundtrack, which is due for release later in 2021, Sia plans an earlier release of a studio album on February 12, 2021, Music – Songs From and Inspired by The Motion Picture.[23]


After the release of the film's first trailer in November 2020, Sia was criticized on social media for casting Ziegler, rather than an autistic actor, to portray the nonverbal, autistic title character in the film.[24][25] Sia responded to critics on Twitter.[26] Lucy Kross Wallace, who identifies as autistic, wrote in Spiked magazine that "rather than giving [Music] a chance, the Twittermob has seized on every incriminating detail to blow the controversy wildly out of proportion."[27]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (October 12, 2020). "Sia's Directorial Debut 'Music' With Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr & Maddie Ziegler Launches Sales With HanWay". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Ramachandran, Naman (October 12, 2020). "Sia's 'Music,' Starring Kate Hudson, Begins Global Sales Journey With HanWay Films". Variety. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Dinges, Gary (October 28, 2020). "Sia discusses long-anticipated feature film, 'Music,' asking Kate Hudson to shave her head". USA Today. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  5. ^ McGrane, Danielle (August 3, 2017). "Sia to spread festive cheer with Christmas album". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  6. ^ (August 1, 2017). "Sia will be releasing her first Christmas album". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Mary Kay Place Talks 'Diane' At 2019 IFP Gotham Awards". December 6, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Sia to direct film starring young muse Maddie Ziegler". BBC News. 8 September 2015. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Tewari, Nidhi (9 September 2015). "'Elastic Heart' Singer Sia to Make a Film Titled 'Sister' with Her Muse Maddie Zeigler". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.; "Sia Releases Captivating 'Cheap Thrills' Video Featuring Maddie Ziegler" Archived 2016-09-10 at the Wayback Machine, Billboard, March 21, 2016; and Murphy, Desiree "Maddie Ziegler Rocks a Black Wig, Rainbow Face Paint in Sia's Haunting Tribute Video to Orlando Victims" Archived 2017-04-17 at the Wayback Machine,, 6 September 2016
  10. ^ Lipshutz, Jason. "Sia Remains an Essential Live Performer in 2016" Archived 2016-11-23 at the Wayback Machine, Billboard, October 26, 2016
  11. ^ Anderson, Ariston (7 September 2016). "Venice: Sia Explains Why She's Directing Her Maddie Ziegler Screenplay". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  12. ^ Harding, Laura. "Kate Hudson backs Sia as a director after musical collaboration" Archived 2018-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, Independent, March 22, 2018
  13. ^ Aron, Hillel. "How Sia Saved Herself" Archived 2018-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, Rolling Stone, August 24, 2018
  14. ^ Puente, Maria. "Kate Hudson expecting baby No. 3, details worst morning sickness of her life" Archived 2018-06-20 at the Wayback Machine, USA Today, April 6, 2018
  15. ^ Reiher, Andrea. "The Surprising Reason Kate Hudson Cut All Her Hair Off", PopSugar, 14 January 2018
  16. ^ "Who is Maddie Ziegler?",, November 11, 2020
  17. ^ Kickham, Dylan. "Sia's Movie Music Will Hit Theaters This Fall, Starring Maddie Zeigler & Kate Hudson" Archived 2019-05-30 at the Wayback Machine, Elite Daily, May 29, 2019
  18. ^ Tuccillo, Andrea. "Sia is ditching her disguise ahead of directorial movie debut",, June 29, 2020
  19. ^ Nolfi, Joey. "Kate Hudson makes sweet Music in Sia's directorial debut trailer", Entertainment Weekly, November 19, 2020
  20. ^ Shaffer, Claire. "Sia Premieres 'Together' from Her Upcoming Album and Film, Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  21. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "Sia Definitely Has the 'Courage to Change' on Soaring Single: Listen", Billboard, September 25, 2020
  22. ^ Strauss, Matthew. "Sia Announces Album, Shares New Song "Hey Boy"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  23. ^ Dresdale, Andrea. "Sia drops trailer for film Music, new single 'Hey Boy' from upcoming album", ABC Audio, November 19, 2020
  24. ^ Smith, Kelsie (21 November 2020). "Sia defends casting a nondisabled actor to portray a person with autism in her upcoming film Music". Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  25. ^ Staff, Natasha Jokic BuzzFeed. "The Trailer For Sia's New Movie Is Already Super Controversial, And Her Response Made Me Very Uneasy". Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  26. ^ "Sia Criticised for Autism Representation in Upcoming Film, Music". Rolling Stone Australia. 2020-11-20. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  27. ^ Wallace, Lucy Kross. "You don’t need to be autistic to play an autistic character", Spiked, November 26, 2020

External links[edit]