Kenneth Branagh To Direct Bee Gees Movie For Paramount

Kenneth Branagh has been set to direct the untitled Bee Gees biopic movie for Paramount Pictures.

The film got set up in a massive rights package in late 2019 by Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King at GK and it became the first film project for Sister — the venture launched by Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and Jane Featherstone. Amblin quickly came aboard as producer and financier of 25% of the film.

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Barry Gibb, who participated in the touching Frank Marshall-directed HBO documentary How Can You Mend a Broken Heart about the Gibb siblings, is very involved in the narrative film, and will be executive producer.

Ben Elton is writing the current draft of the screenplay. Among his scripting credits is All Is True, the 2018 pic which Branagh directed and starred as William Shakespeare.

In that deal that Deadline broke in 2019, Paramount got life rights to the Gibb family estate, and the rights to use their classic songs in a movie that could very well follow the template of the Best Picture-nominated blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody, because the songs are so well crafted, with exhilarating falsettos.

The Bee Gees had worldwide sales of more than 220 million records, establishing them as one of the biggest-selling groups of all time. While Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb first began performing together in the late 1950s with folk and soft rock, their popularity mushroomed after they wrote songs for Saturday Night Fever that fueled the popularity of disco and led to one of the top-selling albums ever, earning them five Grammys including Album of the Year. Even though the soaring success made them world famous, rich and an indelible part of the ’70s zeitgeist, their position as the symbol of disco put them unexpectedly on their heels when there was an eventual backlash to the whole polyester vibe.

When Maurice Gibb died suddenly in January 2003 at the age of 53, the remaining brothers retired the group’s name after 45 years of work. They re-formed in 2009, but Robin died three years later at age 62 and that has left Barry Gibb to spread the band’s legacy.

Branagh is repped by WME and Berwick & Kovack. He wrapped the sequel Death on the Nile and reprises as Hercule Poirot for 20th Century Studios, and wrote and directed the ’60s drama Belfast for Focus Features.

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