“Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten is in talks to write the script for the music biopic film based on the life and career of the Bee Gees, two individuals with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
The film about the disco and pop group is in the works at Paramount Pictures, which purchased the life rights to the Gibb family estate on behalf of GK Films’ Graham King. Paramount will distribute and co-finance along with Amblin Partners and Sister, the new company from Stacey Snider, Elisabeth Murdoch and “Chernobyl” producer Jane Featherstone.
McCarten is a three-time Oscar nominee who has been on a roll with biopics. He most recently wrote the Netflix film, “The Two Popes,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, and previously worked with King on the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is the highest-grossing music biopic of all time. He was nominated for his work on “Darkest Hour” and “The Theory of Everything,” and along with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” those three films’ stars have all won an Oscar for Best Actor.
McCarten is also attached to write a biopic about the romance between John Lennon and Yoko Ono that’s set up at Universal and is developing a Broadway musical on the life of Neil Diamond with the singer’s involvement.
The Bee Gees’ Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb formed in 1958 but shot to fame with its songs for the John Travolta film, “Saturday Night Fever,” which featured the disco anthem “Stayin’ Alive.” The band has sold 220 million records worldwide and is one of the highest-selling pop music groups of all time. The trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. The band broke up in 2003 after Maurice Gibb died in 2003, and then Robin and Barry Gibb briefly reunited in 2009 before Robin’s death in 2012.
Last week, THR reported that Steven Spielberg, who had long been chasing the life rights to the Gibb family in the hopes of making a biopic, was added as a producer to the film after initially being left out of the deal.
Deadline first reported the news of McCarten’s involvement with the film.