As many have already been predicting, the Hollywood success stories behind both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman are inspiring even more musical biopics to come out of the woodwork. This week it is being reported that producer Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody) is teaming up with Paramount (the studio behind Rocketman) to tell the story of The Bee Gees on the big screen. Best known for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Paramount has purchased the life rights to the Gibb family, granting them access to use their music in the movie as well. Here’s a bit more on the band’s backstory:
“Barry, Robin and Maurice began singing together as a pop music group formed in 1958. Their first rush of fame came after their father got a tape of their music to Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who passed it along to colleague Robert Stigwood, who became a steady figure in their rise. Back then, Robin Gibb’s vibrato lead vocals drove hits like “Lonely Days” and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” The trio found themselves in a career rut with the onset of disco that put pop in a corner, when Stigwood brought them in to construct a soundtrack around Saturday Night Fever. The John Badham-directed Paramount film starred Welcome Back, Kotter TV heart-throb John Travolta as the head of a group of Italians from Brooklyn with dead-end jobs who on weekends flashed their disco-dancing moves to become polyester-clad kings of the club circuit. The Gibbs are reputed to have read a rough script draft, and then over a weekend in a France hotel room, they wrote a slew of songs from “Staying Alive” and “Night Fever” to “More Than a Woman” and others. Barry Gibb’s falsetto became the dominant voice, and the result helped Saturday Night Fever capture the cultural zeitgeist like few movies do. It gave the Bee Gees’ career a second wind.”
I’m sure we can all imagine exactly how that scene will play out in the movie. There are some personal tragedies involved as well but the one thing that Queen and Elton John have over The Bee Gees is that they have had recent resurgences leading to more familiarity with a younger audience. I’m not sure that The Bee Gees have quite the same cultural cachet today, but I guess we will find out. No director or writer is currently attached. Would you watch a Bee Gees biopic?