EXCLUSIVE: RADiUS-TWC, the boutique label of The Weinstein Company, has acquired North American distribution rights to Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon. The documentary, which premiered in Toronto on September 7 at Roy Thompson Hall, marks the feature directorial debut of Mike Myers. RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego plan to release the film theatrically in the first quarter of 2014. They tell me they see the breakout potential of 20 Feet From Stardom, the acclaimed docu they turned into a prestige film hit this spring after acquiring it at Sundance.
With backing from A&E IndieFilms, Myers devoted the documentary to the life journey of Shep Gordon, who became a music manager after a chance encounter in the 1960s with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Specifically, the latter felt bad after punching Gordon in the face the night before after Gordon, concerned she was being attacked, broke up what turned out to be a consensual sexual encounter taking place in the grass outside his hotel room window. From there, he colorfully steered the careers of such musical artists as Alice Cooper, Anne Murray, Teddy Pendergrass and Blondie, and he created the “celebrity chef” culture and became a confidante of the Dalai Lama. Myers, who met Gordon when he was trying to get Alice Cooper to appear in a Wayne’s World scene, interviewed himself and the likes of Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Willie Nelson, Emeril Lagasse and more. Myers creates a picture of a charming Hollywood mensch whose Midas touch for dealmaking realized the dreams of others, as he put his own happiness on the back burner. I found the Zelig-like subject and the film irresistible. (more…)