“The Fog of War” and “The Thin Blue Line” director Errol Morris’ next documentary film will be focused on the “High Priest of LSD” Timothy Leary and will debut on Showtime later this year, Showtime Documentary Films announced Tuesday.
The documentary, currently with the working title “A Film By Errol Morris,” is inspired by the memoir “Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary: My Psychedelic Love Story” by Joanna Harcourt-Smith. It will examine the romantic relationship between Harcourt-Smith and Leary as he went from an advocate for the psychedelic LSD drug and then became a narc in 1974.
The film will explore Leary’s period of exile, his re-imprisonment and his subsequent cooperation with the authorities and whether Leary and Harcourt-Smith truly had the “perfect love” or if something else was at play.
“This is a dream project,” Morris said in a statement. “I’m always looking for alternative ways into a story. You never want to go through the front door. Or even the back door. Much better to find an attic window that has been left ajar. Joanna Harcourt-Smith, who had a love affair with Timothy Leary, wrote a book detailing how they met, how they fell in love, how they took drugs together, how he ended up in prison. And then something surprising happened. I found Joanna as interesting as Timothy Leary, perhaps even more so. It was a way to tell a story about the ’70s in a powerful and unexpected way. I’m excited to be working with Showtime and I can’t believe my good fortune.”
“A Film By Errol Morris” is being produced for Showtime by Fourth Floor Productions & Moxie Pictures. Morris is an executive producer, and Robert Fernandez and Steven Hathaway are producers.
Errol Morris is an Oscar and Emmy winner known for films like “The Fog of War,” “A Brief History of Time,” “The Thin Blue Line,” “Gates of Heaven” and “Standard Operating Procedure.” His last feature documentary “American Dharma” was an interview profile with Steve Bannon. Prior to that he directed the documentary series “Wormwood” for Netflix.
You can check out a first-look clip from the film featuring part of Morris’ interview with Harcourt-Smith above.