EXCLUSIVE: A wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom! Rolling Stone is teaming with Bungalow Media + Entertainment to develop Little Richard: I Am Everything. The documentary, which will be directed by Lisa Cortes (All In: The Fight for Democracy) and executive produced by Dee Rees (Mudbound), will spotlight the trailblazing, one-of-a-kind rock ‘n’ roll icon who shaped the world of music.
The docu will align the memorable Little Richard quote: “I am the innovator. I am the originator. I am the emancipator. I am the architect of rock ‘n’ roll.” The musician electrified audiences around the globe and challenged the norms of 1950s, which made him a threat to many. He wasn’t afraid to stand up against segregation, institutionalized racism, musical decorum, chastity and straightness. One of the most influential musicians of all time, he molded music during his reign and a lot of the music today.
“There’s that moment when the meteorite that was Little Richard lit up my world,” said Cortes. “Burning bright with a voice that slayed and a pompadour that pridefully sashayed, he inspired me to color outside the lines, and give voice to all who are silenced for being too bold, too Black or too queer. The architect of rock ‘n’ roll, he instantly outpaced what passed for outrageous or transgressive. But that’s only the beginning of the story, and I plan on telling the rest. Together with my trailblazing producer Dee Rees, we are going to reclaim the crown for Little Richard, the undiluted King and Queen of rock ‘n’ roll. Forever may he reign!”
Said Rees: “There’s a direct lineage from Little Richard to boundary-pushing artists like Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Moses Sumney, Frank Ocean and Brittany Howard. We wouldn’t have the genre-bending musical innovation, electrified performance style and the proud, identity-forward music culture we have today if Little Richard hadn’t fearlessly chopped a completely different path over new musical and social terrain.”
Rees continued: “Little Richard was always one measure ahead and unafraid to lead from the edge. He created and shared generously even as other artists took credit for his ideas and mimicked his style. Little Richard remains singular to this day and I’m beyond excited to be telling this story of a rock & roll titan, with another titan of film, Lisa Cortés.”
Rolling Stone will serve as an executive producer and will leverage its robust history of reporting on Little Richard as well as archival content and interviews with the family, friends and musicians who knew him intimately over the ups and downs of his life and career. Gus Wenner, President and COO of Rolling Stone said, “Rolling Stone is thrilled to partner with Bungalow Entertainment to tell the definitive story of one of the most dynamic and unique founders of rock n’ roll, whose rich history, career and gender-bending impact remains as important today as ever.”
Said EP and Bungalow Entertainment CEO Robert Friedman: “Little Richard’s career is one of the most fascinating and important stories in music and pop culture history. The film will unspool Richard’s incalculable influence on music history, at long last giving him his rightful place on the rock and roll throne.”
Liz Yale Marsh will also serve as an Executive Producer of Little Richard: I Am Everything, while Veda Smith serves as Contributing Producer. Friends and family members of Little Richard, who died in May at 87, are consulting on the film.