David Letterman, Dwayne Johnson, Campfire & Fifth Season partner for authorised Andy Kaufman doc

Ross Dinerstein

Ross Dinerstein’s Campfire Studios has partnered with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants and Fifth Season to produce the first authorised feature documentary on US comedian Andy Kaufman.  

Fully financed by Fifth Season, and overseen by Mary Lisio, EVP of non-scripted and documentary, the film is being produced in partnership with The Andy Kaufman Estate.

Directed by Clay Tweel (Gleason, Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults), the film features exclusive access to Kaufman’s family, as well as personal and never-before-seen archives and private recordings – provided by the Kaufman Estate – and all Kaufman-related archival material from the estate of his longtime manager George Shapiro.

A comedian uninterested in “telling jokes,” Kaufman was lauded for his live performances, his role as Latka Gravas on ABC’s Taxi and his appearances on Saturday Night Live and late-night talk shows – particularly, on Late Night With David Letterman. He was equally well-known for outlandish stunts, such as reading The Great Gatsby cover-to-cover onstage in front of a live audience and offering $1,000 to any woman who could pin him in a wrestling match.

The documentary will investigate the origins of Kaufman’s creative choices and his personal definition of “funny,” aiming to demystify the human being behind the act – featuring insight from his closest family, friends and collaborators.

Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz, Ross M. Dinerstein and Shannon Riggs will produce. David Letterman, Tom Keaney, Tyler Kaufman, Clay Tweel, Tommy Avallone, Ross Girard, and Rebecca Evans will executive produce.

“Like many, I’m infinitely fascinated by Andy’s approach to comedy and to ‘showbusiness,’ in general,” said Dinerstein. “He’s influenced generations of comics, but there will never be another performer like him. Working with the Kaufman Estate and this particular production group, we feel well-equipped to shed light on Andy’s life, career and genius.”

Read Next