Tony Nominee Josh Gad Will Play Preacher-Turned-Comic Sam Kinison in Biopic Film

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06 Aug 2013

Josh Gad
Josh Gad

Book of Mormon star Josh Gad will play the late comic Sam Kinison in David Permut's film "Kinison," according to Deadline.com.

The film about the the pentecostal preacher turned standup comedian will be directed by Larry Charles ("Borat," "Bruno," "The Dictator"). Based on the book "Brother Sam," by Bill Kinison, "Kinison" has a script by Rich Wilkes ("xXx").

The film is set in the 80s, as Kinison transitions from preaching to stand-up comedy. He quickly rose to fame after being launched on HBO on a Rodney Dangerfield-hosted young comedians special and subsequently featured in the comedy "Back to School." After struggling with drugs and alcohol abuse, he died, sober, in a head-on collision with a drunken driver in 1992.

"There was nothing conventional about Sam Kinison and neither will be the cinematic interpretation of his life," producer David Permut said to Deadline.com. "Larry Charles is the perfect director to bring Rich Wilkes' incredible script to screen, and Josh Gad's tremendous ability to morph into a role will bring great depth to Kinison's larger than life persona."

Gad received a Tony nomination for his role in The Book of Mormon. His stage credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His film credits include "Jobs" and "Love and Other Drugs," and his TV work includes "Modern Family," "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "1600 Penn."