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According to Variety, the biopic will follow the beginnings of the trio from their modest beginnings into the peak of their fame in the 1960s and 1970s

By Jen Juneau and Gillian Telling
March 11, 2021 11:03 AM
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The Bee Gees movie
The Bee Gees (L); Kenneth Branagh
| Credit: GAB Archive/Redferns; Anthony Harvey/Getty

The Bee Gees are stayin' alive.

Kenneth Branagh is set to direct a biopic about the pop/soul/disco group, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film will be written by Ben Elton, THR reports, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It will also be produced by GK Films, Amblin and Sister and executive produced by lone surviving Bee Gees member Barry Gibb.

According to Variety, the biopic will follow the beginnings of the trio — Barry, 74, and his twin younger brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb — from their modest start to the peak of their fame in the 1960s and 1970s.

Branagh, 60, counts Thor, Cinderella (2015) and Murder on the Orient Express among his directing credits, and is also known for his acting roles in films like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Tenet.

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The Bee Gees
The Bee Gees
| Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Formed by Barry, Robin and Maurice in 1958, the genre-spanning Bee Gees sold over 220 million albums worldwide and had countless No. 1 hits, ranging from the sublime '60s pop of "Words" and "To Love Somebody," to funky '70s mainstays like "Stayin' Alive" and "Tragedy."

But tragedy has also marred their personal lives.

The Gibbs' youngest brother, Andy — a singer in his own right — occasionally performed with the group, and saw solo success with his 1976 hit, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything." But the promising star battled a terrible addiction to cocaine, and his career eventually fizzled. In 1988, at age 30, Andy died from complications owing to years of drug abuse.

Though mourning their little brother, the Bee Gees continued recording and performing, and experienced a late-career comeback with the Top 10 hit "One" in 1989.

But tragedy struck once again in 2003 when Maurice suffered a heart attack, dying in Miami at age 53. His funeral was star-studded — good friend Michael Jackson was present at the service, riding in the limo with the remaining Gibbs brothers.

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Robin and Barry stopped recording after Maurice's death, claiming that they were too devastated to continue. And in 2012, Robin died at age 62 after a long battle with cancer.

"Mo was gone in two days," Barry told the Daily Mail in 2016. "Maybe that's better than long and tortured, which is what Robin went through. Andy went at 30. All different forms of passing — and, for our mum, devastating."

Barry never expected to perform again as the sole survivor of the band, admitting, "After Rob died, I just sat moping around thinking that was the end of it and I would just fade away."

But instead, he joined Coldplay on stage at Glastonbury to massive applause in 2016, and decided to record an album that was released later that year — In the Now, his first solo record in 30 years. (He would then go on to release another, Greenfields.)

As for how was getting through the days without his brothers, he has said he thinks about them every day: "Live in the moment. Grab every moment, because you see what happens."