Bee Gees set to be latest to get rock biopic, after Bohemian Rhapsody team buy rights to the band's back catalogue
The Bee Gees are the latest band to get their own rock biopic, after the rights to their life and music were bought by the team who made Bohemian Rhapsody.
Graham King, the Bohemian Rhapsody producer, and Paramount Pictures, have purchased the rights to the Bee Gees' life and classic songs from the Gibb family estate including “Staying Alive”,“Night Fever” and “More Than a Woman”.
This continues the trend of making films about rock stars in the hope of success at the box office and winning Oscars; the film studio made Rocketman, about Elton John, which was released to critical acclaim earlier this year.
The studio appears to be hoping to replicate the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen biopic, which was nominated for five Oscars and won four of them. It also was a huge financial success, grossing $903 million (£696m) on a $52 million (£40m) budget.
Mr King worked with the remaining Queen members to produce the film, which featured the band's music and Live Aid set.
Similarly, the sole remaining Bee Gee, Barry Gibb, has given permission for the life and work of him and his brothers to be used and is expected to co-operate with the project.
Music films are increasingly becoming lucrative for studios, which seem to be looking to the success of Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born remake and the Oscar-winning La La Land.
Other music biopics currently in the works failed to secure the rights to the music for the films; the upcoming Bowie movie Stardust and Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side will have to be made without the classic songs.
Although no details of cast or plot have yet been released by the studio, the Bee Gees film is likely to show the ups and downs of the band's career and the deaths of the twin brothers Maurice and Robin Gibb.
Barry Gibb told The Telegraph in a 2016 interview of his devastation over their deaths. He said at the time: “Your world turns upside down. But somehow you get through.”
Audiences may see a representation of John Travolta, who starred in the film Saturday Night Fever, the music in which was written and performed by the band.
Someone may also play John Lennon, who publicly praised the band, in the film.
The trio of brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, began singing together as the Bee Gees in the late 1950’s and became popular in the UK after their music was heard by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
After they split in 1969, they returned to record the music for Saturday Night Fever, creating some of their most popular hits.
Mr Gibb said of this: “I remember lots of intense arguments, not speaking to each other for weeks and then coming back together again... it doesn’t stop you being brothers. We broke up in 1969 and yet my brothers came to my wedding (in 1970) and we started talking again – and suddenly we were back in the studio.”
Barry Gibb was knighted for his services to music in 2018 and played at Glastonbury in 2017. The trio were also made entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Paramount Pictures declined to comment.