Pendergrass broke out in the early 1970s as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and became a massive success as an R&B solo artist with five consecutive platinum albums. He suffered a spinal cord injury in a 1982 traffic accident that left him a quadriplegic, learned how to sing again and returned to perform at the Live Aid Concert at Wembley Stadium in London in 1985.
Pendergrass continued his solo career until announcing his retirement in 2007. He died of cancer in 2010.
Gibson will also produce with his Voltron Pictures with “Empire” co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels and Donald De Line through De Line Pictures. Warner Bros. has hired Little Marvin (creator of Amazon’s upcoming “Them”) to write the screenplay. Teddy Pendergrass’ widow, Joan Pendergrass, is an executive producer.
“I am honored to take this journey… this is the role that I feel I was born to play,” Gibson said. “Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story. Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin and Warner Bros. is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife and family proud… Here we go!!”
Gibson has received six R&B Grammy nominations dating back to his 2000 hit “Sweet Lady.” He appeared in three of the “Transformers” movies and in the last four “Fast and Furious” films as Roman Pearce. Gibson is currently shooting “Black & Blue” opposite Naomie Harris and will reprise his role in “Fast and the Furious 9.”
Gibson is represented by APA, Isabella Castro of Voltron Management, and John Tishbi of Pearlman & Tishbi, LLP.