×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘I Am Dick Gregory’ Documentary in the Works From Andre Gaines (EXCLUSIVE)

Buffalo 8 Productions is partnering with filmmaker Andre Gaines to fast-track the documentary “I Am Dick Gregory,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film, which chronicles the complex life of the late comedian, activist and author, is due to wind up production in the coming weeks in Los Angeles. Gaines and his team have amassed over 300 hours of archival footage of Gregory, who died on Aug. 19, including footage shot since last year. The producers are in early discussions with distributors.

Gaines had been working Gregory and his family on the project with the Gregory’s son Christian on board as an executive producer. Gaines and Valerie Edwards are producing through their Cinemation banner, alongside Michele Farinola. The other exec producers include Luke Taylor, Matthew Helderman and Patrick DePeters through Buffalo 8 and Chad Troutwine.

Dick Gregory is one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th and 21st Centuries,” Gaines said. “I say ‘is’ because he is still present to me, like he is to so many who admired his wit, intellect, jokes and wisdom. Telling his story and working with his son Christian to honor his legacy is as meaningful to me and my team as the short time we spent with Dick Gregory himself.”

Christian Gregory noted that his father was omitted during the “In Memoriam” segment of the Emmy Awards that aired Sept. 17 — the same weekend of his funeral.

“Although it is a highly disrespectful omission, I am certain of the fact my father would have had some colorful remarks to say about it before hurrying back to the hard work of fighting for justice and uplifting humanity,” he added. “I am especially proud of the work that Andre has been doing to tell his story. I know Dick Gregory was proud to be a part of the film before he passed.”

Gregory was the first black standup comic to perform in major white nightclubs, paving the way for Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock. At the height of his career in the 1960s, Gregory abandoned that career for the civil rights movement, supporting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. He also became a health and spiritual advocate and motivational speaker.

Gregory also wrote “Murder in Memphis” which analyzed the 1968 assassination of King.” His most recent book is “Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lines.”

Producers plan to launch international sales at the American Film Market, which starts Oct. 31 in Santa Monica, Calif.

“Dick Gregory has been an integral part of every major American historical event since the 1950s, but he unfortunately has not always been given credit where it is due, especially in Hollywood,” Edwards said.  “Our film will change that by finally telling the truth, and reintroducing Dick Gregory and his legacy to a new generation.”

Buffalo 8 produced the Netflix Original Film “Rodney King.” Gaines’ credits include the “Bill Nye: Science Guy”  documentary and “Black Samurai” on Starz.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Director Fernando Meirelles'The Two Popes' film

    Fernando Meirelles' Next Project Will Be Climate-Change Drama for Netflix

    Acclaimed Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles said Tuesday that his next film will be another project for Netflix, like his current film, “The Two Popes.” The new feature will be a drama about climate change, Meirelles (“City of God”) told a masterclass at the Mumbai Film Festival, where “The Two Popes” is screening. “I’m not going [...]

  • Ken Loach. Palme D'Or - I,

    Ken Loach, Fernando Meirelles Heap More Criticism on Marvel Movies

    Veteran British director Ken Loach and acclaimed Brazilian helmer Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) have piled on the criticism of Marvel films. Two-time Palme d’Or winner Loach described comic-book movies as “commodities…like hamburgers,” while Meirelles said he was “not interested” in the genre. The pair are the latest directors to echo Martin Scorsese’s disdain for [...]

  • Martinez

    Luxbox Boards Lorena Padilla’s ‘Martinez,’ Starring Francisco Reyes (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico — Paris-based Luxbox has picked up international sales rights to Guadalajara native Lorena Padilla’s debut feature “Martinez,” toplining Francisco Reyes who starred opposite Daniela Vega in Chile’s Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman.” “We have totally embraced the singularity of this project which brings to our eyes the potential of a film that can entertain [...]

  • SANCTORUM

    Berlin-based Pluto Films Snags Sales Rights to Joshua Gil’s ‘Sanctorum’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico — Berlin-based Pluto Film Distribution has picked up the international sales rights, with the exception of Mexico, to Joshua Gil’s ‘Sanctorum,” which competes at the 17th Morelia Int’l Film Festival (FICM). Founded by Torsten Frehse, the fledgling world sales and festival distribution company has an eye for arthouse and crossover films as well as features from emerging [...]

  • Crowds Of German Refugees Pictured On

    'Last Days in Vietnam's' Rory Kennedy to Direct AR Content’s Refugee Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Content – in partnership with Kevin Macdonald, an Oscar winner with “One Day in September,” and Rosanne Korenberg – has tapped Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning director Rory Kennedy, best known for “Last Days in Vietnam,” to direct its untitled documentary centering on a little-known refugee crisis immediately preceding World War [...]

  • Global Screen Nabs ‘Amazing Maurice,’ Based

    Global Screen Picks Up ‘The Amazing Maurice,’ Based on Terry Pratchett’s Novel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global Screen has picked up worldwide distribution rights, excluding North America, the U.K. and German-speaking territories, to the English-language animated feature “The Amazing Maurice,” based on a Terry Pratchett novel. The screenplay has been written by Terry Rossio, Oscar-nominated for “Shrek.” Rossio’s credits also include the animated movie “Aladdin” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” [...]

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content