Gersh to Represent Writer Budd Schulberg's Estate as Centennial of His Birth Approaches
On the centennial anniversary of the legendary Academy Award winner Budd Schulberg's birth, Gersh announced today that they have signed a deal with his widow Betsy Schulberg to represent the estate of the late author and screenwriter. Though Schulberg died in 2009 at the noble age of 95, the impact of his writings and the legacy of his works are as alive today as ever during his lifetime. Gersh and Betsy Schulberg will work together to shepherd the multiple adaptations and revivals currently in preparation.
Schulberg, known throughout his life for taking up social causes and weaving them into powerful narrative dramas, penned the iconic phrase "I coulda been a contender" in his Oscar®-winning screenplay for the 1954 Kazan film ON THE WATERFRONT, starring Marlon Brando. He is also known for landmark novels such as What Makes Sammy Run?, The Disenchanted and The Harder They Fall, as well as a second Kazan collaboration, the 1957 film, A FACE IN THE CROWD, and a broad array of plays, short stories and a celebrated body of non-fiction.
"Without Budd Schulberg, the Hollywood that we know of today wouldn't exist, as he created the paradigm for what success stands for in this business as a writer and creative talent," said Gersh Co-Head Bob Gersh. "He was an American treasure and a Hollywood legend, and we couldn't be more pleased at Gersh to work with his estate on future projects that will entertain and inform audiences for generations to come."
One of the latest projects is a feature length documentary, HOLLYWOOD RENEGADE; THE MANY LIVES OF BUDD SCHULBERG, directed by Budd's son, Benn Schulberg, produced by Stephen Nemeth and executive produced by Ben Stiller and Spike Lee. The film, currently in preparation, ranges over Budd's nine plus decades, covering his lifelong fight for social justice.
Commented Stiller: "Budd Schulberg lived Hollywood history, and chronicled it all. He was not one to shy away from controversy, and his work as a writer captured an era in 20th century America that is now fading away. 'Sammy' remains the prototypical Hollywood novel and probably always will."
Spike Lee, who was collaborating with Schulberg on a film about the life of heavyweight boxer, Joe Louis when Schulberg died, added: "I miss my dear friend Budd Schulberg. We got along great, and I promised him that I would get our project SAVE US, JOE LOUIS (which he co-wrote) made and I will make good on that promise."
Additionally, Schulberg's 1953 short story, The Dare is being turned into a full length feature produced by Budd's nephew, KC Schulberg. The film entitled A DREAM LAST NIGHT and directed by Pierre Filmon, will shoot in southwest Florida this year with Oscar®-winning cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond (CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND) slated to shoot the film and two-time Grammy nominated recording artist, Jacky Terrasson providing the score. Attachments so far, include Oscar®-nominated Eric Roberts.
The Disenchanted, Schulberg's haunting novel written in 1950 and inspired by his real-life friendship with F. Scott Fitzgerald, is in development as a feature film, while Schulberg's A FACE IN THE CROWD, the prescient story of psychotic manipulation of the media and politics, will soon become a Broadway musical. Additionally, ON THE WATERFRONT is being adapted as an opera.
To further mark the centennial, an exhibition of posters, first-edition books and other mementos devoted to Budd Schulberg's life and career will be staged at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, in Los Angeles, curated by Schulberg's longtime biographer, Nick Beck. His legacy is also preserved at his alma mater Dartmouth, which holds a large collection of his papers and his personal library in the Rauner Special Collections Library, curated by Jay Satterfield. Dartmouth is planning a symposium in honor of Budd Schulberg's centennial this coming fall.
Miriam Altshuler continues to represent the Schulberg estate for book publishing rights. Rupert Lord of Macnaughton Lord Representation continues to represent the musical theatre project of A FACE IN THE CROWD.