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Simon Cowell producing 'American Idol'-like 'Star Struck' film

By Christopher Rocchio, 08/02/2007 

An American Idol-themed film is apparently in the works, and who better to helm the project than Simon Cowell.

"We always believed that a TV show like Idol would be successful," Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Thursday. "I have the same feeling about doing the movie."

Star Struck -- the tentative title for the new Idol-like flick -- is loosely based on Fame, a 1980's movie that followed a group of students studying at a New York performing arts' high school, which spawned an Academy Award-winning soundtrack and was later turned into a successful musical.

"Fame was all about young people wanting to be famous, and in order to do that, they enrolled in a drama school," Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter.  "The difference 25 years later is that everyone who wants to be famous today signs up for American Idol."

Cowell will produce Star Struck and chose British television writer Jonathan Harvey to pen the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which added Harvey followed Cowell around for the past two years as he worked on reality competition series on both sides of the Atlantic, including Idol, America's Got Talent and American Inventor in the States, as well as The X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent in the U.K..

An important aspect of the film is casting, and for authenticity, Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter that Star Struck's leads will be found through nationwide open auditions held in several cities beginning early next year.  Cowell added he plans to personally attend the auditions as well as open Star Struck with clips from the casting calls.

"To enjoy the film, you've got to watch the actors and believe that they are contestants on a reality show," he told The Hollywood Reporter.  "The story is told through the eyes of those 10 contestants.  We want it to be the musical version of Rocky -- an underdog story, a feel-good film." 

Cowell said he had the idea for Star Struck two years ago and on Wednesday, he signed-off on Harvey's synopsis for the film, according to The Hollywood ReporterStar Struck is being produced through Syco Prods., and while it has yet to sign-on with a studio, it has reportedly garnered interest.

"The most important thing for the film was the timing," Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter.  "We decided that next summer will be the right time to launch it."

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