From their HGTV parody show “The Curse” to a possible reunion with “Uncut Gems” star Adam Sandler, Josh and Benny Safdie are keeping busy. Next up, the filmmaking brothers are executive-producing a still-untitled Andy Kaufman documentary, now officially underway at Tremolo Productions. That’s the documentary outfit run by Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville (“Twenty Feet from Stardom”). The documentary will also be executive-produced by famed record producer and former Columbia Records co-founder and filmmaker Rick Rubin, which means this project has some serious wattage behind it.
The documentary will be directed by Alex Braverman, Emmy-nominated director on “Gaycation” as well as the series “Waffles + Mochi,” and he worked as a producer at VICE.
Why anyone hasn’t made an Andy Kaufman documentary yet is anyone’s guess, though the comedian was explored in the 1999 Milos Forman film “Man on the Moon” starring Jim Carrey, whose experience playing the character was profiled in the 2017 documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond.”
The documentary on the comedic legend will also be executive-produced by Braverman’s father, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Chuck Braverman, who previously produced Kaufman’s 1980 special “Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall.” Emmy-winning Wavelength founder and CEO Jenifer Westphal also executive-produces.
“No matter how many times I watch Andy Kaufman’s work, I feel like I’m seeing a magic trick for the very first time,” Braverman said in the announcement. “I’m excited for our project to honor that. This is the film I’ve wanted to make my entire life.”
“A real dream team of partners have come together to make this film,” said Morgan Neville, founder of Tremolo Productions, “Alex is an exciting director who has a vital take on the story, the Safdie Brothers are true originals just like Kaufman himself, and Chuck Braverman and Wavelength are incredible collaborators and champions for this film’s unique vision. I’ve loved Kaufman since I first discovered him on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and I’ve always thought of this project as not only an opportunity to celebrate his genius but to push the form, just as Andy did with his comedy.”
Tremolo and Wavelength previously collaborated on the wildly successful Mister Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” which was directed by Neville. It also marks Neville and Rubin’s second project together, the first being Showtime’s documentary series “Shangri-La.”