Simon Cowell searches for a movie idol

Simon Cowell will be holding X Factor-style open auditions for his new film.

The TV talent judge will hold public auditions across the UK to find the stars of his first film, which is tentatively titled Star Struck.

Star Struck is set in a TV singing competition, similar to Cowell’s reality shows The X Factor and Pop Idol, and follows 10 contestants trying to make it to the top.

For authenticity, the leading roles will be cast through nationwide open auditions, similar to those used on the reality shows.

Cowell, who will be present at all of the auditions, hopes to hold the calls early next year in seven or eight cities. He believes casting unknowns for the leads is crucial.

Cowell said: “To enjoy the film, you’ve got to watch the actors and believe they are contestants on a reality show.

“We want it to be the musical version of Rocky – an underdog story, a feel-good film.”

He added that a reality show was a perfect setting to make Star Struck more contemporary, providing an update to Alan Parker’s 1980 film Fame.

“Fame was about young people wanting to be famous – and in order to do that, they enrolled in a drama school,” Cowell said. “The difference, 25 years later, is that everyone who wants to be famous signs up for American Idol.”

We always believed that a TV show like Idol would be successful. I have the same feeling about doing the movie.”

Cowell hopes to release the film in summer 2008. The new series of The X Factor starts on ITV1 on 18 August

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