Bee Gees Biopic Stayin’ Alive With New Director

Paramount Pictures has found a new director for its Bee Gees biopic, enlisting John Carney following Kenneth Branagh‘s departure from the project, Deadline reports.

The yet-untitled biopic took shape in 2019 when producer Graham King (who helmed 2018’s award-winning Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody) and Paramount negotiated a deal with the Gibb family, bringing surviving band member Barry Gibb onboard as executive producer. Paramount initially tapped Branagh — whose directorial credits include 1996’s Hamlet, 2011’s Thor and 2015’s Cinderella — to direct the film, but he left the project late last year due to scheduling conflicts, including the awards campaign for Belfast, which won Best Original Screenplay at last weekend’s Academy Awards.

Carney is no stranger to music-related films, having written and directed the 2007 musical drama Once and the 2016 musical dramedy Sing Street. The former won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the latter received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The Bee Gees film will mark Carney’s first musical biopic, and he will work alongside scriptwriter John Logan.

After launching as a Beatlesque pop group in the mid-’60s, Bee Gees reinvented themselves as disco kings in the late ’70s. The trio featured prominently on 1977’s Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which sold 16 million copies in the U.S. and topped the Billboard 200 for 24 consecutive weeks.

Barry Gibb is the lone surviving member of Bee Gees, following the deaths of twin brothers Maurice (2003) and Robin (2012). Their younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died in 1988.

Gibb previously participated in the 2020 HBO documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, which received six Emmy nominations and won the award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera).

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