The Rock And David Letterman Among Andy Kaufman Documentary Producers

Fans of the late, great alternative comedian Andy Kaufman have a reason to rejoice, and no, it is not because he is alive and has secretly been living in Long Island. Deadline reports that Sundance and SXSW Fim Festival award-winner Clay Tweel is set to direct the first authorized feature documentary focused on Kaufman. The documentary is being fully financed by Fifth Season, who will also serve as a producer, alongside Campfire Studios, David Letterman’s World Wide Pants Incorporated, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions.

The movie will also be produced in partnership with The Andy Kaufman Estate, allowing it to include “unprecedented and exclusive access to Kaufman’s family, as well as personal and never-before-seen archives and private recordings.” It was also noted that all Kaufman-related material from the estate of his long-time manager and friend, George Shapiro, will also be available for the project.

Kaufman is maybe best known for his role as Latka Gravas, the loveable mechanic on the hit TV series, Taxi. Alongside Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch, and others, Kaufman became one of the top stars on television, which he leveraged into a successful pro wrestling career in Memphis, TN.

Kaufman and Lawler’s feud in the territory led to an infamous appearance on the David Letterman Show that resulted in The King slapping the TV star across the face, one of the most memorable moments in television history. With Letterman set to produce alongside Johnson, that bit of history will surely be dissected.

“I’ve always loved Andy because he was able to elicit such emotional reactions to his performances by using both the poignant and the absurd to keep his audience off balance,” said Tweel. “I hope we can honor his legacy in that way with our film.”

The film will explore the creative process of the man who inspired the film Man On The Moon and a REM song by the same name. Infamously, Jim Carrey attempted to channel the performance artist for the film, resulting in outlandish on-set behavior that WWE Hall of Famer, and friend of Kaufman, Jerry Lawler, has openly condemned. Kaufman joined Lawler in the WWE Hall of Fame when he was inducted earlier this year as part of the WWE WrestleMania 39 festivities.

Alongside Johnson, Seven Bucks Productions’ Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz will also be among the formal producers for the film.