Gene Wilder Documentary to Be Produced by Company Behind Beatles, Lucille Ball Projects

by Samantha Whidden

Less than six years after he passed away at the age of 83, a new documentary will be exploring the life and acting career success of Gene Wilder. 

According to Variety, White Horse Pictures, which is the production company that recently released documentaries about the Beatles, Lucille Ball, and The Bee Gees, will be producing the Gene Wilder documentary. Chris Smith will be directing the film. Which will tell Gene Wilder’s life story through the perspective of Jordan Walker-Pearlman. Who is the late actor’s nephew and a filmmaker. 

The media outlet further reveals that Sobey Road Entertainment and Harlem Hollywood are producing the documentary.  White Horse President and Partner Nicolas Ferrall and partner Cassidy Hartmann will produce. Smith and Sobey Road’s Andrew Trapani are also producers as well. White Horse partners Nigel Sinclair and Jeanne Elfant Festa serve as executive producers. 

Speaking about the documentary, Walker-Pearlman shares, “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. I look forward to seeing Gene’s inner spirit shine on screen. For what I hope will be his final great performance.”

Variety then reports that the documentary will look back on Gene’s life. This includes his marriage to Gilda Radner from 1984 until her death in 1989. It will also look at the films he was part of until his death from Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. 

Gene Wilder Revealed Why He Stopped Acting in Last Major Interview

According to Variety, Gene Wilder spoke to Turner Classic Movies for his last major interview. The interview took place on June 12, 2013, one day after his 80th birthday. While speaking to Robert Osborne, Wilder revealed why he decided to stop acting. 

“Once in a while, there was a nice, good film,” Gene Wilder stated. “But not very many. If something comes along that’s really good and I think I would be good for it. I’d be happy to do it. But not too many came along.  I mean, they came along for the first, I don’t know, 15, 18 films, but I didn’t do that many.”

Gene Wilder further explained he didn’t want to do films that were just bombing, loud, and swearing. He also claimed there is so much swearing going on. “If someone says ‘Ah, go f— yourself,’ well, if it came from a meaningful place, I’d understand it. But if you go to some movies, can’t they just stop and talk, just talk, instead of swearing? That put me off a lot.”

Also during this interview, Gene Wilder said he didn’t think he was that funny. When asked who his favorite comedic actors or filmmakers were, he mentioned his appreciation for Woody Allen comedies. “I don’t love Woody Allen’s [films] all the time, but when they’re good, they’re just sensational. I love them. I mean, just seeing ‘Midnight in Paris,’ how could you do better than that?”