Tyrese Gibson is finally getting his wish to play R&B crooner Teddy Pendergrass in a biopic after pitching the movie for years.
The Fast and Furious star pitched his idea to play the singer-songwriter in a biopic back in 2010, the year Pendergrass died after a battle with cancer at the age of 59.
But Tyrese suffered numerous delays and setbacks due to ongoing disputes between the family over his estate. The delays contributed to his infamous meltdown on social media.
Warner Bros. acquired Teddy’s life rights and green lighted the biopic with Tyrese in the starring role as well as producer alongside Empire director Lee Daniels.
“I am honored to take this journey,” said Tyrese in a statement to Deadline. “This is the role that I feel I was born to play. Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story. Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin and Warner Bros is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife and family proud. Here we go!!”
The Transformers star and Grammy-nominated singer shared pictures of news articles on Instagram, photos of him at Pendergrass’ funeral and with the musician before he died, as well as a video of him, Lee, producer Donald De Line and screenwriter Little Marvin celebrating as they came out of a pitch with Warner Bros.
“This is the moment we walked out of our ‘pitch’ meeting with (Warner Bros. Executive VP, Production) Kevin McCormick there was a feeling that the Teddy Pendergrass movie was going to happen……. Warner Bros we are honored to take this journey with you!!!!” he wrote.
Pendergrass shot to fame in the early 1970s as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes before finding success as a solo artist, with hits such as “Close the Door” and “Love T.K.O.”.
In 1982 he suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. After years of rehab, he continued to enjoy a successful music career until his retirement in 2007.
Teddy’s widow Joan, who won control of his estate in 2014, will serve as an executive producer of the biopic.
Photo by Instagram.com/@Tyrese