In the fall of last year it was reported that Roger Ebert’s memoir “Life Itself,” chronicling his struggle and recovery from alcohol addiction and his long running battles with thyroid cancer, would be adapted into a documentary by “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James. Ebert was a huge fan of “Hoop Dreams;” he gave it a four star review upon it’s release in 1994, and given both the critic and the filmmaker’s status as Chicago icons, it seemed like a perfect fit.
The film is executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Oscar winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian. The film was acquired by CNN Films early this year, and Ebert was extremely grateful and excited about the project; allowing the filmmakers access to essentially whatever they needed, and letting them to record as much new footage as they could.
In the shadow of the iconic critic’s unfortunate passing, director James immediately took to the film’s Twitter account to assure everyone that the film would continue as planned, tweeting “We are devastated. But we will continue. We will finish the film.” A source close to the project told The Hollywood Reporter that “We all knew it was imminent, as sad as it was.” You can read the rest of their article here.