CNN Films, HBO Max Commission LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING (w.t.) Produced By Bungalow Media + Entertainment
Director Lisa Cortes, And Academy Award-Nominated Executive Producer Dee Rees, Deliver Definitive Portrait Of The Iconic Creative Genius
CNN Films and HBO Max have commissioned a new documentary about the life of genre-defying, music innovator Little Richard, produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment in association with Rolling Stone. The feature, directed by Lisa Cortés, of Cortés Filmworks, and executive produced by Dee Rees and Robert Friedman for Bungalow, reveals the daring, extraordinary, defiant life of the creative genius behind “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” and even “The Magic School Bus Theme.” Little Richard: I AM EVERYTHING (working title) is currently in production and expected to be completed in fall 2022.
Little Richard: I AM EVERYTHING (w.t.) will eventually premiere for broadcast on CNN. HBO Max holds domestic and international SVOD streaming rights to the film. Additional producers for the film include Liz Yale Marsh and Mike Powers as executive producers; Caryn Capotosto, producer; and Rolling Stone executive producers Gus Wenner and Jason Fine. CNN Films and HBO Max are executive producers for the film.
“I am delighted to give Little Richard the royal treatment he so deserves,” said director Lisa Cortés (All In: The Fight for Democracy). “This magnificent rock n’ roll icon changed the world for all of us – Black and white, straight and gay, everyday people and stars. His story is the history of rock n’ roll: musical genius mixed with the sheer audacity to morph and change at will, seeking permission from no one. The film is called I Am Everything because that was Little Richard’s triumph: transcending all categories and expectations to be everything he dreamed,” she said.
Richard Penniman, also known as “Little Richard,” lived a life as large as his dreams, breaking barriers, and becoming a global music superstar. He was a key architect of rock and roll. His unique sound, performance, and bravado launched the fresh and exciting new genre. He also personified the fearless independence that rock inspired, despite the new music’s ascendance during an era of brutal prejudice and racism.
“I did what I felt and I felt what I did. At all costs.” ~ Little Richard
“We are also delighted to partner with Rolling Stone and HBO Max to present the rich, full history of Little Richard. This film will finally, fully showcase the enduring influence of his gifts,” said Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films. “Little Richard’s genius has been obscured and underappreciated for too long. We’re excited to celebrate his massively consequential contributions to music and culture through the lens of director Lisa Cortés,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development. Entelis and Sexton are both executive producers for the film.
“Little Richard’s career is one of the most fascinating and important stories in music and pop culture history. The film will unspool Richard’s incalculable influence on music history, at long last giving him his rightful place on the rock and roll throne,” said producer and CEO for Bungalow Media + Entertainment, Robert Friedman.
Personal insights from loved ones, colleagues, as well as contemporary musicians and historians will explore Little Richard’s life and indomitable spirit. Never-seen-before archive and insights will develop the 360⁰ portrait of the artist and the human.
The commission deal for LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING (w.t.) was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, senior vice president of business affairs, and Kelly MacLanahan, assistant general counsel, both for CNN Worldwide, on behalf of CNN Films. ICM brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.
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About CNN Films
CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects. Acclaimed CNN Films include JULIA, the surprising biography of chef, television star, and author, Julia Child, from filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen, who previously directed the Academy Award®-nominated RBG, about the life and legacy of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; CITIZEN ASHE, directed by Sam Pollard and Rex Miller, about tennis great and humanitarian Arthur Ashe; Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, executive produced with HBO Max, directed by Morgan Neville; DIONNE WARWICK: Don’t Make Me Over, about the singer and humanitarian, directed by Dave Wooley; and, The Last Movie Stars, about the lives and careers of actors and humanitarians Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, directed by Ethan Hawke. For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms, follow @CNNFilms via Twitter, and join Keep Watching, an exclusive, members-only community for CNN Films & CNN Original Series https://cnn.it/3qTScB4.
About HBO Max
HBO Max™ is a direct-to-consumer streaming platform from Warner Bros. Discovery, offering best in class quality entertainment. HBO Max delivers the greatest array of series, movies and specials for audiences of all ages from the iconic brands of HBO, Warner Bros., and DC, as well as Max Originals, blockbuster films, and beloved kids and family content. The platform launched in the United States in May 2020 and introduced a lower priced, advertising-supported tier in June 2021. HBO Max began its global rollout launching in markets across Latin America and the Caribbean last summer, followed by its first European launches in the Nordics and Spain in the fall. Currently available in 61 countries, there are plans for continued expansion of HBO Max in 2022.
About Bungalow Media + Entertainment, LLC
Founded in 2013 by CEO Robert Friedman, Bungalow Media + Entertainment is an Emmy
Award-winning integrated entertainment company that develops, produces and distributes
content across all media platforms. Bungalow’s recently produced series include Serving the Hamptons for Discovery+, the four-part mini-series Surviving Jeffrey Epstein for Lifetime, the five-part mini-series The Preppy Murder for AMC/Sundance, The Panama Papers for EPIX, and Roswell: The First Witness for History. Current series in production include Season 2 of It Couldn’t Happen Here for SundanceTV and AMC+, as well as the documentary feature Little Richard: I Am Everything for CNN. Others include Emmy-Award winning GIVE for NBC, Corvette Heroes for the History Channel, The Real SVU for Lifetime, Landmarks Live in Concert for PBS, 36 Hours with the New York Times for Travel Channel, and scripted dramas APB on Fox and Amazon’s Modern Love. Bungalow has also produced the feature documentaries The Devil Made Me Do It for Discovery+, Spring Broke on Showtime, We the People: The Market Basket Effect, and the Clive Owen’s feature film, The Confirmation, among others.
About Rolling Stone
Five decades since its founding, Rolling Stone has evolved into a multi-platform content brand with unrivalled access and authority, reaching a global audience of over 60 million people per month. Embracing its mission to tell exceptional stories that illuminate the culture of our times, Rolling Stone is an authority for in-depth interviews, hard-hitting political commentary and award-winning journalism across print, digital, film, television and audio. As a key part of its editorial and business strategy, Rolling Stone has moved successfully into the multimedia arena, producing documentary films, television, podcasts and scripted film and television projects including HBO documentary Stories from the Edge, directed by Alex Gibney; Showtime docuseries Supervillain; and the Amazon podcast based on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Led by Rolling Stone veteran and former Editor Jason Fine, the multimedia team has over 20 top-tier projects in development and production with premium partners across documentary features, scripted and unscripted series, and podcasts based on Rolling Stone content and original ideas. Rolling Stone’s chief executive officer is Gus Wenner, who has revitalized the iconic brand founded by his father Jann Wenner for new generations and new platforms. Rolling Stone is operated and published by Penske Media Corporation.
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