Bill Graham, a towering figure in San Francisco and rock history, is set to receive the music bio pic treatment courtesy of Fox. Deadline broke the news, reporting that writer Zach Dean and director Shawn levy, whose 21 Laps entertainment company produced Netflix hit Stranger Things, are at the helm. Deadline says that Dean, for his part, is also on a hot streak, having written the Carl Sagan picture Voyagers for Warner brothers and scripts for films with major actors like Tom Cruise in the forthcoming Methusaleh.
The Fox-commissioned picture about Graham is to be based on a Bill Graham: My Life Inside Rock And Out, a 1992 autobiography penned with Robert Greenfield. Fox bought the rights to the book last year, says Deadline.
Bill Graham, born Wulf Wolodia Grajonca in Germany before escaping the Holocaust as a Jewish orphan in New York and eventually arriving in the early 1960s in the Bay Area, was famously one of the One Thousand Children given safe passage to the United States without their parents. He cut his teeth managing the legendary San Francisco Mime Troupe in their heyday and he was active until he died in 1991 when his helicopter crashed on the way back from a Huey Lewis and the News concert in Concord. Graham is best known for bringing to prominence some of rock's most beloved acts — the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana — at his venues the Fillmore and Winterland. A Graham movie, then, would present copious cameo opportunities for all kinds of actors to portray those figures. We'll keep an eye on the project going forward, because it could be a fun one.