EXCLUSIVE: Zach Dean has been set to pen for 20th Century Fox and director Shawn Levy a film based on the life of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham. It is Dean who will find the movie in Bill Graham: My Life Inside Rock and Out, the autobiography Graham wrote with Robert Greenfield that Fox bought early last year. Levy will produce through his 21 Laps banner, and Greenfield, David Graham and Alex Graham are executive producing.
Graham came to prominence in the 1960s, promoting music in San Francisco venues the Fillmore and Winterland and breaking acts that included the Grateful Dead, Santana, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. His life story began in Europe, where he fled the Holocaust as a child before being raised in a foster home in New York. His innovation was to pioneer the promotion of rock concerts into major events, culminating in the American part of the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert. He died in a 1991 helicopter crash at age 60.
Levy just signed on to direct the video game adaptation Uncharted at Sony, and the 21 Laps-produced series Stranger Things just got a PGA nomination. The series, and the 21 Laps-produced film Arrival, are in the mix for Golden Globes this weekend.
Dean’s on a hot streak. He scripted the Carl Sagan pic Voyagers for Warner Bros (Lynda Obst and Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan are producing), as well as the recently wrapped 24 Hours to Live for Fundamental Films and Thunder Road, with Ethan Hawke starring. His WWII drama Atlantic Wall, set at Imperative Entertainment, just got Gavin O’Connor to direct and Bradley Cooper to star. His script Methusaleh has Tom Cruise attached to star for director Joachim Rønning, and David Goyer is set to direct Dean’s script Beast which made the Black List.
WME reps Levy and Dean. Madhouse manages Dean.