So how long has “Kinison” been kicking around? We first reported on it way back in 2008 when it was set up over at HBO with “American Splendor” team Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini tapped to adapt the book “Brother Sam” by the comedian’s sibling Bill Kinison, with Tom Shadyac (“Bruce Almighty,” “Liar Liar“) set to the direct with Dan Fogler in the lead role. All was silent until a couple of years later, when it was revealed Shadyac was still attached, and he currently is— although only as a producer. A new writer, director and star are now moving the project along.
Deadline reports that Larry Charles (“Borat,” “Bruno,” “The Dictator“) is now at the helm with Josh Gad (“Jobs,” “Love & Other Drugs,” “The Internship“) now set for the lead role, and a script provided by Rich Wilkes (“xXx,” “Airheads“). The film will track Kinison’s unexpected rise from Pentecostal preacher to edgy stand up comic, his battle with substance abuse and his tragic death in a car accident after he had cleaned himself up. Kinison is nothing short of a legend in comedy circles, and Gad will have his work cut out for him.
No word yet on when this will lens but it’s undoubtedly a showy role for Gad, in what is easily his biggest part to date— and his first real film lead— but if done right the material lends itself to a pretty powerful story.