The Jackal Group has snapped up the rights to produce the official biopic about legendary stand-up comedian George Carlin.
Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated screenwriter Stan Chervin is attached to write the project which will either be for theatrical, streaming or TV format.
The Jackal Group’s Chairman and CEO Gail Berman and President Joe Earley will produce along with Jerry Hamza, who is Carlin’s former manager, EP of 11 of the stand-up’s comedy specials, best friend of 35 years and the executor to the comedian’s estate. Carlin’s former agent Bruce Kaufman will also produce the project under his new banner Wood Hollow Pictures. Chervin is repped by ICM.
In a joint statement, Berman and Earley said, “We are honored to tell the story of one of the most important and influential comedians of all time, and to do so alongside those who knew him best. In addition to shaping comedy and culture for decades, and entertaining generations of audiences, Carlin’s battle to protect free speech continues to impact our daily lives and is as relevant as ever.”
Hamza added, “I’m very excited to be involved with a film based on George’s life. It was wasn’t until after George died, I realized he was a hero. As a performer, George would never ‘sell out,’ and never comprise his beliefs – I learned so much from him. I think the public will be very happy to learn about George’s life. He was truly the top of the ladder in his field.”
Born in New York City in 1937, Carlin became renowned for his razor-sharp observational comedic style on language, politics, religion, and the world. Once told by Lenny Bruce “You are the next one,” he blazed a trail that led all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”
Carlin was the “Hippy Dippy Weatherman,” appeared on The Tonight Show more than 130 times, starred in an unprecedented 14 HBO Specials, hosted the first Saturday Night Live and wrote three New York Times bestselling books. Eleven of his 23 solo albums were Grammy nominated, of which he took home five trophies. In 2002, Carlin was awarded the “Freedom of Speech Award” by the First Amendment Center in cooperation with HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. He was named the 11th recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in June 2008. He died in Santa Monica on June 22, 2008 at 71.