Debut for Tom Wolfe Documentary ‘Radical Wolfe’ Set by Kino Lorber

The film will open in September in NYC and L.A. before a nationwide expansion

Tom Wolfe
"Radical Wolfe" (Kino Lorber)

“Radical Wolfe,” the first documentary about American author and journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe, will open at the IFC Center in New York on Sept. 15 and the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles on Sept. 22. Kino Lorber, which acquired the film in April, also announced a nationwide expansion set after the platform debut.  

“Radical Wolfe,” based on a Vanity Fair article by Michael Lewis, chronicles Wolfe’s career from a beat reporter at the Washington Post to his becoming a leader in the “New Journalism” movement. Featuring readings from Jon Hamm, the picture details how Wolfe helped reshape how American stories were told, including recognizing the importance of overlooked subcultures and communities. This meant everything from rural stock car drivers to hippies in Haight Ashbury to the Apollo Astronauts.  

The film is directed by Richard Dewey (“Burden”) and executive produced by David Light and Nathan Epstein and co-produced by Andy Fortenbacher. The deal for “Radical Wolfe” was brokered by Kino Lorber senior VP Wendy Lidell and Ben Schwartz and Dan Braun of Submarine. 

Tom Wolfe: The ’60 Minutes’ interview

Wolfe, who died in 2018 at the age of 88, was a towering figure in a new wave of immersive, more literary journalism. Wolfe’s work often was satirical and centered on the counterculture of the 1960s. He penned definitive nonfiction tomes such as “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” and “The Right Stuff.” Meanwhile, his novels — “Bonfire of the Vanities,” “A Man in Full” and “I Am Charlotte Simmons” and “Back to Blood” — often dealt with class, social status and the economic and alleged intellectual elites. While “Bonfire” is considered a modern classic, his follow-ups are less universally acclaimed.  

“Radical Wolfe” bills itself as a deeply personal and illuminating look at the man inside the famous white suit, featuring conversations and interviews with those who knew him best, including Michael Lewis, Gay Talese, Lynn Nesbit, Terry McDonell, Tom Junod, Christopher Buckley, Niall Ferguson and Alexandra Wolfe.