Ridley Scott Set to Direct Bee Gees Biopic with Barry Gibb as Executive Producer

Director Ridley Scott is set to helm an upcoming film on the Bee Gees. The still-untitled project, under distribution by Paramount Pictures, has been in the works since 2019 and will be executive-produced by the Bee Gees’ surviving brother Barry Gibb.

Scott is the third director to take over the film after Kenneth Branagh initially signed and was later replaced by John Carney. The 86-year-old director was reportedly sent the script for the Bee Gees film after he impressed executives with footage from his upcoming sequel to the 2000 hit Gladiator.

The director already has a long history with the group. The Bee Gees’ longtime manager Robert Stigwood was once developing the medieval-themed movie Castle Accident with Scott, which would have starred Barry, and brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb. Though the film never materialized Scott always wanted to work on something with the brothers.

Written by John Logan, who has penned the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre, Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004), and Tim Burton‘s 2007 film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, along with Scott’s Gladiator and Alien: Covenant, the Bee Gees biopic will follow the lives of the three brothers and their rise to stardom.

In 2019 Paramount acquired the life rights, the permission to use the personal details and characteristics of someone’s life, image, and likeness, along with the rights to the group’s classic songs for use in the movie, which is expected to follow a similar template of the 2018 Oscar-winning Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody.

Scott’s biopic isn’t the first film around the group. In 2011, The Story of the Bee Gees was released, followed by the Frank Marshall-directed HBO documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart in 2020, which chronicled the rise of the Bee Gees and the evolution of their music.

Formed in 1958, by the 1960s, the Bee Gees started making their dent in pop music before becoming synonymous with disco in the ’70s with hits “How Deep is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” which all went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and more classics from the 1977 soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever and later albums.

Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb also wrote hits for other artists, including the theme song to the 1978 film “Grease,” performed by Frankie Valli, along with “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “Heartbreak”‘ by Dionne Warwick, and “Woman in Love” by Barbra Streisand.

The group released 21 albums from their 1965 debut The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs through their final This Is Where I Came In in 2001. When Maurice died in January 2003 at age 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name before reforming in 2009. Robin died at age 62 in 2012.

“I always imagined us sitting around in our 80s and laughing, about everything that had ever happened to us, but what did I know?” said Barry Gibb in 2021. “Can you imagine when the pressure’s off and we were just old men? And it just wasn’t going to happen that way, and that’s life itself. When does the light go off? You just don’t know. And so I come to terms with that.”

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