Ah, ha, ha ha — a Bee Gees biopic is reportedly in the works, and part of the team behind the runaway hit Bohemian Rhapsody is behind it.
Paramount Pictures is backing the film, which is currently in preproduction stages. The script has yet to be written, but it is assumed that it will chronicle the rise of the famed band of brothers.
Graham King, who produced Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, bought the life rights to the family estate of the brothers Gibb and will be able to use all of their music in the film.
Bohemian Rhapsody surprised many by grossing over $900 million worldwide, especially since the film’s budget was only $52 million.
Though it took years to finally make the movie a reality, the film received five Oscar nominations and won four of the venerated awards. Graham King’s Rocketman debuted at Cannes in May and has so far grossed over $200 million worldwide. Both films set up the Bee Gees movie to be similarly successful.
The Bee Gees were brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. They began singing together in the late 1950s and started to get famous when their father shopped their music. Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles, shared it with a colleague, Robert Stigwood.
The group’s sound was noticeably different in the early years. One of their hits, “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” is definitely not a precursor to the sound fans would come to identify the band with in the 1970s.
The trio was a bit stuck in terms of their music when their manager approached them about working on the soundtrack for the film Saturday Night Fever. The movie came out in 1977, and the disco-infused soundtrack was an instant success.
Saturday Night Fever stars John Travolta as the leader of a group of Italians from Brooklyn who dance in disco clubs on the weekends. The Gibb brothers were given a rough draft of the script, and they then wrote all of the hit songs like “Staying Alive” and “Night Fever” over a weekend.
The soundtrack marked a transition in the group’s sound in more ways than one. Barry took over as lead singer, and his trademark falsetto became the sound that the band would be known for in the decades to come.
The group quickly started picking up steam professionally and personally. John Lennon praised the Bee Gees, defending the band against those who claimed they were just remaking the work of the Beatles. He said, “All music is rehash. There are only a few notes. Just variations on a theme. Try to tell the kids in the Seventies who were screaming to the Bee Gees that their music was just The Beatles redone. There is nothing wrong with the Bee Gees.”
The Bee Gees were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony in 1997. The band was inducted by Brian Wilson, the lead singer of the Beach Boys. The band was celebrated for having been together for over 40 years.
Sadly, Maurice Gibb was the first of the trio to die. He died on January 12, 2003, at the age of 53. His death was a surprise to many, and it was revealed that he had died from complications after an emergency surgery for a twisted intestine.
Unfortunately, Robin Gibb followed his brother in death on May 20, 2012. In 2010, he began to feel abdominal pains, and he was ultimately diagnosed with colorectal cancer that had metastasized to his liver.
Tragedy aside, a biopic about the Bee Gees is sure to be filled with plenty of feelings and events. The beloved trio’s music continues to carry on, and surviving brother Barry will likely have a role in the development of the film.