EXCLUSIVE: As documentary films and series continue to escalate in prominence in this age of binge watching, here’s a package that is creating some excitement as it is shopped this week and next. Imagine Documentaries and Appian Way Productions have partnered to produce Timothy Leary: Follow Me to Freedom, a docuseries that draws upon Leary’s vast archives and is fueled by exclusive access to his longtime personal archivist, Michael Horowitz. Malcolm Venville (Grant, And We Go Green) is set to direct what the filmmakers believe will be the definitive account of Timothy Leary’s odyssey, with never-before-seen access to Leary’s personal archive.
This is thanks to resources provided by Horowitz, a rare books and manuscripts specialist who was building a library in San Francisco on the history of mind-altering drugs when he learned that psychedelic scientist/LSD advocate Leary had been imprisoned in Governor Ronald Reagan’s crackdown. Horowitz became custodian of Leary’s archives and his confidant during the stormy years of Leary’s fugitive life, an existence which included imprisonment on four continents. The FBI eventually seized the archives and dragged Horowitz before a Grand Jury investigating Leary’s prison escape.
The docuseries will delve into Leary’s growth from psychologist and writer to ’60s counterculture symbol and LSD advocate and enemy of the right-wing establishment who was dubbed ‘the most dangerous man in America’ by President Nixon. The docuseries will explore his time as a fugitive, the complicated history of LSD, the state of the current psychedelic renaissance, and the inner mind of one of America’s most fascinating and controversial iconoclasts.
Appian Way’s Leonardo and George DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson and Phillip Watson will be executive producers along with Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Justin Wilkes, and Sara Bernstein and Leary archivist, Michael Horowitz.
As Leary said, turn on, tune in, drop out, but stay tuned and Deadline will tell you how it all ends up.