Gene Wilder’s Comedy Legacy to be Featured in a New Documentary

A look at one of the great comedians of the 20th century

Variety reports that six years after his death, legendary actor Gene Wilder’s life is receiving a documentary. Working on the project is cinematographer, Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman and it will be directed by Emmy nominee Chris Smith, who helmed Netflix’s 2019’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.

Coming from documentary-focused production company White Horse Pictures, the currently untitled feature is described as tracing Wilder’s path from a neurotic outsider to the star of films like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Blazing Saddles while also pulling back the curtain on his search for meaning on and off-screen. Wilder retired from acting in 2003, after which he focused on writing novels and stories, as well as painting.

Walker-Pearlman frequently visited Wilder on movie sets until his uncle’s death in 2016. In the past, Walker-Pearlman turned down multiple offers to participate in documentaries about Wilder, but as he explained in a statement, this time felt like the right fit.

“To trust other filmmakers with something as sacred to me as my relationship with Gene was not easy, but working with Chris Smith, White Horse Pictures, and Andy Trapani has been an incredibly organic experience,” Walker-Pearlman said. “I look forward to seeing Gene’s inner spirit shine on screen for what I hope will be his final great performance.”

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