Director Dawn Porter (“Gideon’s Army”) has already started shooting the project, following the Democratic congressman as he worked to flip the house in the 2018 mid-term elections. She also followed Lewis as he worked behind-the-scenes during the recent government shutdown and as the Democrats took control of the House. In addition to interviews with Lewis, Porter plans to rely on archival footage to chart Lewis’ social activism, as well as his career in Washington, where he has advocated for voting rights, gun control, and healthcare reform.
CNN Films will retain North American broadcast rights for the film. Other U.S. rights for the film, including theatrical distribution, are for sale. AGC Studios is co-financing and controls international rights that will be sold via its worldwide sales subsidiary, AGC International.
The untitled film is being produced by Porter and Laura Michalchyshyn for Trilogy Films, with Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon of Color Farm Media. The executive producers are Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton for CNN Films; and Stuart Ford and Rachel Traub for AGC Studios.
CNN Films has had a lot of success in the documentary space in recent years. It produced the Oscar-nominated “RBG,” a look at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as well as the box office hit “Three Identical Strangers,” the story of triplets separated at birth. Upcoming projects include “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” and “Halston.”
The deal for the John Lewis film was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, VP of business affairs, and Kelly MacLanahan, assistant general counsel, for CNN Worldwide on behalf of CNN Films. Victoria Cook of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz represented the filmmakers.