Biopics of musicians/bands are undeniably hot right now. The success of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman in recent years has set off the alarm bells in Hollywood. Now all your favorite acts are getting their stories set for the big screen. Next up in the fathomably endless line of chart toppers getting the top notch cinema treatment are the brothers Gibb. Details have been released stating Kenneth Branagh has been tapped to tell the story of the Bee Gees, from a script penned by Ben Elton.
As reported by Deadline in October of 2019, Paramount had purchased life rights to the Gibb’s estate. The deal gives the studio the rights to the Bee Gees catalogue. This clears the way for the use of all their songs for the upcoming feature. Whether or not script writing duties were handed to Elton before or after the landmark deal is unclear.
Elton’s script for the 2018 film All is True was directed by Branagh. This makes the yet to be titled Bee Gees picture their second collaboration as writer and director. While Ben Elton is widely known by television viewing audiences as the co-writer of brilliant Blackadder series and the creator and writer of the David Mitchell staring, Upstart Crow; the author, comedian, actor, director, and playwright has also penned four stage musicals– including the jukebox musical, We Will Rock You.
The untitled Bee Gees biopic is expected to tell the story of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb in full. Their world goes from obscurity to superstardom. The only surviving brother, Barry, will be closely tied to the film and will act as a producer. Barry recently also lent his presence to the HBO documentary, The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, which was directed by Frank Marshall.
The announcement of Branagh as the picture’s director just adds another name to the growing list of films the legendary thespian/film maker has waiting for release. Branagh’s second Agatha Christie adaptation, Death on the Nile, was originally set to be released in December of 2019. Coronavirus caused a delay and the film now is slated for a September 2021 release. Additionally, his most recent project, Belfast had been picked up for distribution by Focus Features last December. With both pictures either finished or in post-production, Branagh has time to get pre-production of the Bee Gees film underway. Now he only needs to find the perfect replicas of the slim, silky-haired, falsetto belting, strut masters; the brothers Gibb.