James Mangold is set to produce and direct an untitled biopic about the life of filmmaker and comedian Buster Keaton for 20th Century Studios, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
The upcoming film will be based on the book “Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase” by Marion Meade. The project is currently out to writers to adapt the book.
According to the synopsis for the book: “Buster Keaton (1895–1966) was a brilliant comedian and filmmaker who conceived, wrote, directed, acted, and even edited most of his ten feature films and nineteen short comedies, which are perhaps the finest silent pictures ever made. With a face of stone and a mind that engineered breathtakingly intricate moments of slapstick, Keaton has become an icon of the American cinema. Marion Meade’s definitive biography explores his often brutal childhood acting experiences, the making of his masterpieces, his shame at his own lack of education, his life-threatening alcoholism, and his turbulent marriages. Based on four years of research and more than 200 interviews with notables such as Billy Wilder, Leni Riefenstahl, Gene Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Irene Mayer Selznik, as well as members of Keaton’s family who had previously refused to discuss him, Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase is a startling and moving account of the troubled life of a cinematic genius.”
Mangold, working under a first-look deal with 20th Century Studios, is in production on the fifth Indiana Jones film, starring Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen. Mangold most recently was the director and producer of the 2019 Academy Award-winning film from 20th Century, “Ford v Ferrari.”
Mangold is repped by WME, Management 360 and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern. The book was repped by Echo Lake Entertainment on behalf of the Robin Straus Agency
Deadline first reported the news.