Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty) will direct a biopic about the life of standup comedian Sam Kinison for HBO Films. The film is based on the memoir Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison, written by Bill Kinison and Steve Delson. Brother Sam chronicles Kinison’s transition preacher to one of the most popular and beloved comics of the 1980s. Kinison died in a tragic traffic accident in 1992.
Variety reports that Rich Wilkes (xXx) will write the film, which spent years at Universal before landing at HBO, who was developing the film as a TV movie with Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) set to star as Kinison. After the jump, you can see Fogler as Kinison in a screen test for the film.
Here’s the synopsis for Brother Sam:
“Shock comedian” Kinison (1953-1992) was born in Yakima, Wash., the son of a Pentecostal preacher. A head injury at age three (he was hit by a truck) turned a reticent child into a rambunctious youth, who got his kicks by snatching handbags. After a stint as an itinerant preacher, Kinison decided to become a comedian and moved to Houston, where he was named the funniest man in Texas by the Dallas Morning News . A move to Los Angeles briefly stalled his career until the help of Rodney Dangerfield and an HBO special led to appearances on David Letterman and Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live . Bill, Sam’s brother, fellow preacher and manager, has written, along with freelancer Delsohn, an X-rated memoir about a very sleazy man. This book is filled with the sordid details of Sam’s life: his drug use (acid, Quaaludes, cocaine, marijuana, amyl nitrate); his penchant for .38s and three-way sex; feuds with Andrew Dice Clay and Howard Stern; the suicide of their brother Kevin; Sam’s problems with the gay community; his affairs with the likes of Penny Marshall, Beverly D’Angelo, porn star Seka and Jessica Hahn; his three marriages; and his death in an auto accident. It’s all here in livid, salacious detail. Strictly for Sam’s fans. [Amazon]