Fox, Shawn Levy Developing Bill Graham Movie

Fox, Shawn Levy Developing Bill Graham

Fox has launched development of a feature film about iconic music promoter Bill Graham, with Shawn Levy producing through his 21 Laps company.

The studio has bought the movie rights to “Bill Graham: My Life Inside Rock and Out,” written by Graham and Robert Greenfield. David Graham, Alex Graham and Robert Greenfield exec produce.

Graham’s story began in Europe, where he was placed in an orphanage as a child to avoid the Holocaust before being sent sent to New York. He was drafted into the Army in 1951 and served in Korea.

Graham moved to San Francisco in the early 1960s to be closer to his sister and became a key figure in the explosion of the music scene by booking the Fillmore and Winterland venues. He booked the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Byrds, the Allman Brothers Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Who, Cream and Led Zeppelin.

By the 1970s, Graham was booking massive concerts at Watkins Glen and the Oakland Coliseum’s Day on the Green. He appeared as the concert promoter in a key scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and died in a helicopter accident in 1991 at the age of 60 while returning from a Huey Lewis and the News concert.

Levy’s directing credits include the three “Night at the Museum” films, “Date Night” and “The Internship.” Recent producing credits include “Story of Your Life,” starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner; “Fist Fight,” starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day; and “Table 19,” starring Anna Kendrick.

Levy is repped by WME. Graham’s estate and Greenfield are represented by attorney Elliot Groffman of Carroll, Guido & Groffman, and IPG’s Brian Lipson. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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  1. Dennis Pfeifer says:

    I worked for Bill and was his nephew’s (Avi’s) best friend. I worked from June 1968 til the end July 1971. I would entertain the opportunity to get together with David and the other producers to tell them of my memories and what I did and remember of the Fillmore West, concerts ect.

  2. Steve Mendelson says:

    Bill ran good shows, he was a fun loving tough Jew, not a hippie like the Family Dog/Chet Helms group. He did some wonderful things. He put all sorts of acts from various fields of music at the same show. It was not unusual to hear a famous jazz act and then two rock acts. He blended in folk and countryish acts. He gave out free apples, never searched people entering the fillmore or winterland, and passed out such great posters.

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