Tyrese Gibson Hopes to Make Teddy Pendergrass Proud With New Biopic
2nd March 2019

AceShowbizTyrese Gibson is finally getting to play late soul singer Teddy Pendergrass in a biopic after being attached to the role for years.

The “Fast and Furious” star had been in the frame 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. The project suffered numerous delays due to ongoing disputes between the family over his estate, and now executives at Warner Bros. have acquired his life rights and are pushing forward with a biopic with Tyrese as the star as well as producer alongside “Empire” creator Lee Daniels.

“I am honoured to take this journey… 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,” Gibson said in a statement to Deadline. “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!!”

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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.

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“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.

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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 and was left paralysed from the chest down. However, he continued to enjoy a successful music career until his retirement in 2007.

His widow Joan, who won control of Pendergrass’ estate in 2014, will serve as an executive producer.

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