Timbaland may soon be trying on the Gibb brothers' falsetto, if Simon Cowell has his way. The Pop Idol kingpin is planning a remake of Saturday Night Fever, according to reports, with the hip-hop producer taking charge of the Bee Gees' legendary soundtrack.
"The charm offensive has been in full swing," a source told the Sun. "Simon has been looking into buying the rights for years and [has] opened discussions ... about the remake."
Rights to Saturday Night Fever's screenplay are owned by Robert Stigwood – producer of the original film, as well as the Bee Gees' manager. Cowell has allegedly been wining and dining the mogul, trying to persuade him that "the original wouldn't be completely butchered".
Stigwood's 1977 film, inspired by a fabricated New York Magazine article by Nik Cohn, breathed a second wind into the disco craze and launched John Travolta – and the Bee Gees – into the celebrity stratosphere. Though Sylvester Stallone directed a sequel, Staying Alive, in 1983, the original Fever has so far eluded remake mania.
Cowell is assembling a list of prospective talent, according to the Sun, including Timbaland and High School Musical star Zac Efron – who would take over John Travolta's tight trousers. After an alleged "breakthrough" in negotiations this week, "the contracts will be signed" just as soon as Cowell's list meets Stigwood's expectations.