Josh Gad (Broadway’s Book of Mormon) will be taking on his second real-life character after this month’s Jobs which features the actor playing computer pioneer Stephen Wozniak. Deadline Hollywood reports that Gad will be playing controversial stand-up comedian Sam Kinison; who was killed by a drunk driver in 1992 at the age of 38. In a cruel twist of fate, Kinison had finally conquered his drug and alcohol addiction and was sober at the time of his death.
Larry Charles (Borat, Bruno) will be directing the film from a long-in-development script by Rich Wilkes (xXx, Airheads) currently entitled Kinison. The script is based on the book Brother Sam by Bill Kinison (Sam’s brother if you couldn’t figure that out). Brother Sam happens to be a better title than simply Kinison, so perhaps they’ll go back to the original title in lieu of the usual biopic strategy of generically using the person’s name. I’m talking to you Ray.
The son of a preacher, Kinison transitioned from the family business and turned his public speaking skills into a successful career in Hollywood as a crude and acerbic stand-up comic. The film will take a look at Kinison’s plunge into drug and alcohol addiction and the ultimate effect it had on his career and reputation.
In addition to his stage act, Kinison was perhaps most infamous for his many appearances on The Howard Stern Radio Show; and apparently producers are looking to cast an actor to play the legendary radio host. Richard Pryor is also among the real-life figures who will be featured in the movie.
Producer Chris Mangano has this to say on the project:
There was nothing conventional about Sam Kinison and neither will be the cinematic interpretation of his life. Larry Charles is the perfect director to bring Rich Wilkes’ incredible script to screen, and Josh Gad’s tremendous ability to morph into a role will bring great depth to Kinison’s larger than life persona.
Question of the day:
Which actors do you think could play Howard Stern and Richard Pryor?