Simon Cowell producing Idol-themed film Star Struck, a “musical version of Rocky”

Simon Cowell plans to make a film based upon American Idol, which he says will use real people in the leads and be “the musical version of ‘Rocky’ — an underdog story, a feel-good film.”

Star Struck “is set behind the scenes of a TV singing competition in the vein of ‘Idol’ and the Cowell-produced British show ‘X-Factor’ and follows 10 contestants trying to make it to the top,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will be written by “Jonathan Harvey, who followed [Cowell] around for the past two years,” but it does not yet have a studio attached. Still, Simon wants to release the film next summer, probably timed to debut right after the conclusion of American Idol 7.

The filmmakers want “authenticity,” so “the leads in the film — playing participants in a TV singing competition — will be cast through nationwide open call auditions similar to those used on the reality shows,” the paper reports. And “Cowell will be at the auditions for the movie. And just like a singing reality show, ‘Struck’ will open with clips from the auditions.”

That seems beyond ridiculous; why not just make a documentary about the show instead of faking everything that’s already happening? With impossible-to-follow logic, Simon argues, “To enjoy the film, you’ve got to watch the actors and believe that they are contestants on a reality show.” Yes, except we’ll know that they’re fake, you twit.

Cowell nor the paper mention American Dreamz, a fictional film that was essentially a quasi-satire of the show. However, despite starring real actors, it did horribly, opening in ninth place and ultimately earning just $16.5 million worldwide, and only $7 million in the U.S.

‘Idol’ icon tunes up for movie biz [Hollywood Reporter]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.