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TV Movie on Timothy Leary in the Works April 26, 2005 reuters.ca
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Production labels Panacea Entertainment and Blueprint Entertainment have teamed up to bring the story of the late psychologist, writer and drug researcher-enthusiast Timothy Leary to the small screen.
The companies are producing an as-yet-untitled biopic to be directed by Andy Fickman (Showtime's "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical") that will be based on information of public record as well as the personal recollections of Panacea chairman and CEO Eric Gardner, who was Leary's manager for 11 years.
"Timothy was a force of nature in one of most turbulent periods in American history and was a touchstone for the counterculture and for an entire generation, irrespective of whether one indulged in hallucinogenics or not," Gardner said.
Gardner said the movie might focus on Leary's years as a faculty member at Harvard University, which he joined in 1959. During that time, he began conducting research on the effects of psilocybin and, later, LSD with students, resulting in his dismissal in 1963. It was during the 1960s that Leary coined his catchphrase "turn on, tune in, drop out" in reference to LSD.
Gardner said he previously had a Leary biopic feature set up at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment's Interscope Pictures in the early '90s, but that project reverted back to him when Universal later acquired PolyGram. At that time, Gardner controlled the rights to Leary's autobiography, but those rights reverted back to Leary's estate upon his death in 1996.
Gardner added that they likely will to try to find a foreign co-production partner and then shop the movie around, starting with the premium cable networks.
Fickman directed both the stage hit and Showtime's recent movie version of "Reefer Madness" as well as the indie film "Who's Your Daddy?"
Panacea is a talent management and film and TV production company whose clients include Paul Shaffer, Richard Belzer and Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, while Blueprint's credits include the VH1 movie "Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story" and the BBC/CBC kids series "Shoebox Zoo."
Hmm...seems like some people close to Leary are involved, but the dude running the show definitely has some bad films under his belt.
-------------------- Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.