HBO's Sam Kinison Biopic from Tom Shadyac to Hit Big Screen
No matter how praiseworthy HBO's forays into motion pictures might be, their films like Temple Grandin and You Don't Know Jack are almost always confined to the small screen. However, it looks like the story of the late, great comedian Sam Kinison is big enough to warrant a big screen release. Variety now reports the long-gestating biopic of Kinison not only has Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almight) attached to direct, but will also be given a theatrical release. Based on the 1994 book Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison by the comedian's brother Bill Kinison, the film has been in the works for about ten years.
Shadyac and producer David Permut have had the project had been set up at Universal for years until they took the project to HBO Films as a TV movie. That was back in 2008 when Dan Fogler (Fanboys, Balls of Fury) was attached to star in the film as the iconic comedian, but with the film getting a big screen treatment, it's unclear if he'll still remain attached. Since the film will likely get more attention in theaters, a bigger name might be desired. However, Fogler does have the look and energy to bring Kinison to life, so if he's good enough, he might stay in place.
The film will follow Kinison, the son of a preacher on his rise to become one of the most riveting, ground-breaking stand-up comics of his generation. His brilliant comedy would pave the way for and inspire a whole new generation of comedians in the spotlight today. Comedy Central just recently aired a special as a tribute to Kinison featuring commentary and interviews with such comedians as Denis Leary, Chris Rock, Norm MacDonald and many more. That look into the funnyman's life, Back from Hell: A Tribute to Sam Kinison, is now available on Netflix Instant. As for this biopic, I can't wait to see how it turns out if it finally gets off the ground. How about you?