EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off the heels of selling their films Where’s My Roy Cohn? and Knock Down the House at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Wavelength Productions announces their involvement as producers of the feature documentary Chippendales, directed by award-winning documentarians Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce (HBO’s Believer).
Chippendales tells the true story of the first strip club for women whose rise during the drug, sex and rock-and-roll fueled world of 1980’s Los Angeles left a trail of greed, extortion, jealousy, mob infiltration, and murder. The nightclub arose at the epicenter for the women’s liberation movement and was in part responsible for changing the culture. Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratton, her pimp husband Paul Snider, a newly arrived immigrant from Calcutta named Somen “Steve” Banerjee, and a flamboyant New York choreographer named Nick DeNoia would all play a part in the founding of the nightclub.
The documentary will work in conjunction with the upcoming narrative feature of the same name. Produced by Emmy and Oscar-nominated producer David Permut (Hacksaw Ridge), as well as Red Hour, Bold Films and Sentinel-Pictures, the narrative will star Ben Stiller as Nick DeNoia and Dev Patel as the infamous Steve Banerjee. The doc will follow Permut’s process in making the film, in addition to chronicling the true story that inspired the Hollywood narrative. This behind the scenes look will also feature interviews with key individuals that played a formative role in the nightclub’s success.
When Permut was developing Hacksaw Ridge with Mel Gibson, Terry Benedict was directing the doc The Conscientious Objector about WWII vet Desmond Doss. Interview footage from that doc of Doss before his death was used in the end-credits of Hacksaw Ridge.
“We are in the business of supporting radical projects that aren’t afraid to tell the truth. When we heard about the Chippendales story, we knew we had to get involved,” said Jenifer Westphal and Joe Plummer, co-founders of Wavelength Productions. “David’s passion for the project is infectious, and the behind the scenes story of the first-ever male revue that turned into a multi-million-dollar business is a wild ride.”
“I am very proud to be working with Wavelength and 9.14 Pictures on the documentary – the timing could not be better,” said Permut. “Chippendales is one of the most iconic brands in the world and now people will know the fascinating true story behind it.”
Permut Presentations previous collaborations with Red Hour include the acclaimed documentary The Boys: The Sherman Brother’s Story and The Polka King which premiered at Sundance in 2017 and was acquired by Netflix.
Argott and Joyce are represented by Justin Ongert and Maggie Pisacane at WME, and Danny Sherman and Jeff Ciabattari at Thruline Entertainment
The Chippendales documentary is being produced in partnership with 9.14 Pictures, Permut Presentations, Red Hour Productions, and Wavelength Productions.