Simon Cowell Developing Star Struck

ON

“American Idol” judge and reality TV producer Simon Cowell is venturing into features with a music-themed project tentatively titled Star Struck, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Inspired by Alan Parker’s 1980 film Fame, “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.

“The story is told through the eyes of those 10 contestants,” said Cowell, who will produce “Struck.” “We want it to be the musical version of ‘Rocky’ — an underdog story, a feel-good film.”

For authenticity, 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. Cowell, who hopes to hold the calls early next year in seven or eight cities, believes casting unknowns for the leads is crucial.

Just as he does as a judge on “Idol” and “X-Factor,” Cowell will be at the auditions for the movie. And just like a singing reality show, “Struck” will open with clips from the auditions.

British TV scribe Jonathan Harvey will pen the project for a summer 2008 release.