A new documentary on rock pioneer Little Richard is in the works from executive producer Dee Rees, director Lisa Cortés, and Rolling Stone.
Little Richard: I Am Everything will take an in-depth look at the rock & roll architect that posed a threat to Fifties norms — both racially and sexually — and influenced entire generations of musical artists. The title of the film derives from the Little Richard quote, “I am the innovator. I am the originator. I am the emancipator. I am the architect of rock & roll.”
The late icon’s friends and family will consult on the film, which is being made in partnership with Bungalow Entertainment and Rolling Stone, with the latter tapping into its vast archival content on Little Richard for the project.
“There’s a direct lineage from Little Richard to boundary-pushing artists like Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Moses Sumney, Frank Ocean, and Brittany Howard,” Rees said in a statement. “We wouldn’t have the genre-bending musical innovation, electrified performance style, and the proud, identity-forward music culture we have today if Little Richard hadn’t fearlessly chopped a completely different path over new musical and social terrain. Little Richard was always one measure ahead and unafraid to lead from the edge. He created and shared generously even as other artists took credit for his ideas and mimicked his style.”
Cortés, who previously helmed the documentary The Apollo about the famed Harlem theater, said in a statement: “There’s that moment when the meteorite that was Little Richard lit up my world. Burning bright with a voice that slayed and a pompadour that pridefully sashayed, he inspired me to color outside the lines, and give voice to all who are silenced for being too bold, too Black, or too queer. The architect of rock & roll, he instantly outpaced what passed for outrageous or transgressive. But that’s only the beginning of the story, and I plan on telling the rest. Together with my trailblazing producer Dee Rees, we are going to reclaim the crown for Little Richard, the undiluted King and Queen of rock & roll. Forever may he reign!”
Rolling Stone’s President and Chief Operating Officer Gus Wenner added: “Rolling Stone is thrilled to partner with Bungalow Entertainment to tell the definitive story of one of the most dynamic and unique founders of rock & roll, whose rich history, career and gender-bending impact remains as important today as ever.”