“The Polka King” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Maya Forbes directed the film from a script she wrote with Wally Wolodarsky.
Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove, and Vanessa Bayer also star in the story of local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan. The movie is based on the Joshua Brown and John Mikulak documentary, “The Man Who Would be Polka King,” which detailed Lewan’s rise and fall after persuading fans to invest in a Ponzi scheme, which landed him in jail.
Producers are David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Wally Wolodarsky, Jack Black and Priyanka Mattoo. Production companies are ShivHans Pictures, Red Hour Film, Permut Presentations, and Electric Dynamite.
Dennis Harvey gave “The Polka King” a strong review at Sundance: “One of those conspicuously talented comics who nonetheless can be tricky to cast, Jack Black has rather surprisingly found some of his best big-screen roles portraying liberally dramatized versions of real people, à la ‘School of Rock’ and ‘Bernie.’ (No, ‘Drunk History’ doesn’t count.) Featuring Black’s most eccentric true-life character yet, ‘The Polka King’ amply plays to its star’s strengths, yielding a hilariously tough-to-believe biopic that should easily prove one of the bigger commercial breakouts of Sundance’s 2017 edition.”