A feature-length project about the life and career of legendary comic George Carlin is in the works with the Oscar-nominated “Moneyball” screenwriter Stan Chervin.
Gail Berman and Joe Earley’s the Jackal Group have secured the comic’s life rights, and tapped Chervin as both writer and producer. Bruce Kaufman and his banner Wood Hollow Pictures and Jerry Hamza, the executor of Carlin’s estate and his former manager, will also produce.
The untitled project does not yet have a distribution home, but Jackal is mulling several options, including traditional theatrical, streaming, or a possible TV release for the long-form project.
“We are honored to tell the story of one of the most important and influential comedians of all time, and to do so alongside those who knew him best,” Berman and Earley said. “In addition to shaping comedy and culture for decades, and entertaining generations of audiences, Carlin’s battle to protect free speech continues to impact our daily lives and is as relevant as ever.”
Carlin was as prolific as he was acidic in his standup, having appeared on “The Tonight Show” over 130 times, recorded 23 comedy albums, filmed 14 HBO comedy specials, and written three New York Times best-sellers. He won a Grammy in 2001 for spoken comedy album, for “Brain Droppings,” and also received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He died in 2008 at age 71.
“It was wasn’t until after George died, I realized he was a hero. As a performer, George would never ‘sell out,’ and never comprise his beliefs,” Hamza said in a statement.
One of Carlin’s notable early routines was “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” which is largely credited with forcing a Supreme Court decision on how much regulatory power the federal government would be in policing speech on the radio. Carlin was arrested for disturbing the peace after performing the bit at a 1972 comedy festival in Milwaukee.