June 16, 2021
Photo by Janet Knott/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Showtime Documentary Films has acquired the rights to The One and Only Dick Gregory; the feature-length documentary about the late comedian and civil rights activist.
The documentary will chronicle Dick Gregory‘s life and career from a stand-up comic to an activist and pop-culture icon through more than 300 hours of archival footage plus interviews with Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Wanda Sykes, and more. Work on the project began prior to his death in 2017 as the film is bookended with Gregory’s own voice, according to Deadline.
The One and Only Dick Gregory marks Andre Gaine’s directorial debut and will be executive produced by Hart and Bryan Smiley of Hartbeat Productions alongside Lena Waithe (Queen & Slim) and Rishi Rajani for Hillman Grad Productions, his son Christian Gregory, Chad Troutwine and Matt Rachamkin.
“There is no more important time than now to revisit the life of Dick Gregory,” said Vinnie Malhotra, Showtime’s executive vice president of nonfiction programming. “His fearless voice rose to the challenges of his time, calling upon Americans to question their beliefs, in an era where you risked your livelihood – maybe even your life – to speak out. Though a comedic genius of his generation, comedy turned out just to be the beginning of one of the most unique and impactful journeys of any person we’ve seen.”
“Dick Gregory is as present to me now as he was when I first started filming him six years ago – a trivial length of time when compared to the nearly six decades that this one man so greatly influenced American history, comedy, activism, and nutrition,” said Gaines. ” “He emptied himself completely for the movement, and while the enormity of his sacrifices are rarely acknowledged, he gave every artist a master class for what it truly means to both entertain and educate. Knowing Dick Gregory was a transformative experience that not only influenced the making of this film, but me as a man.”
The One and Only Dick Gregory will premiere on Juneteenth at the Tribeca Film Festival and will debut on Showtime on July 4.
The pic about the late icon will air, appropriately, on the Fourth of July — following its June 19 world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
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