Acclaimed musical film director, John Carney has signed on to helm Paramount Pictures’ upcoming Bee Gees biopic. The studio has also hired Oscar-nominated screenwriter, John Logan to pen the untitled movie, Deadline is reporting.
The news comes after Carney made a successful career for himself by directing award-winning original musical films. But The Bee Gees movie will mark the first musical property based on real life musicians that the helmer will take on. The acclaimed director has helmed such celebrated musical films as 2007’s Academy Award-winning Once, 2013’s Oscar-nominated Begin Again and 2016’s Golden Globe-nominated Sing Street.
Logan, meanwhile, is known for being nominated for three Best Screenplay Academy Awards throughout his career. He was nominated for his scripts for the movies Gladiator, The Aviator and Hugo.
Kenneth Branagh was originally attached to direct The Bee Gees biopic, but left the film late last year due to scheduling conflicts with other projects. That included a time consuming awards campaign for his recently released coming-of-age drama, Belfast, for which he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay on Sunday.
Graham King of GK Films will produce The Bee Gees biopic along with Amblin, and Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone via Sister. The music group’s singer-songwriter, Barry Gibb, will be very involved in the movie’s development, as he will serve as an executive producer on the project.
Paramount originally set the biopic’s distribution date this coming November. But the film has been taken off of the studio’s release calendar for that month, following the change in its helmer.
GK Films is no stranger to the musical biopic, as it served as one of the production companies on the 2018 Oscar-winning Queen movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. Paramount has also found success in the musical biopic genre in recent years, having released the Elton John film Rocket Man in 2019.
Carney’s upcoming biopic will highlight how The Bee Gees is one of the biggest-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 220 million records worldwide throughout their run. Barry and his brothers, Robin and Maurice Gibb, first began performing together in the late 1950s with folk and soft rock songs.
But the musicians’ popularity grew after they wrote tracks for Saturday Night Fever that helped fuel the acclaim of disco. The film’s soundtrack one of the top-selling albums of all time, and earned The Bee Gees five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. Even though the soundtrack’s success made the group rich and world famous, their position as the symbol of disco eventually led to their downfall when the musical genre began to fade in popularity.
When Maurice died suddenly in January 2003 at the age of 53, his brothers retired the group’s name after 45 years of work. The remaining Bee Gees re-grouped in 2009, but Robin died three years later at age 62, which left Barry to continue spreading the band’s legacy.