Fans of Jack Black should be happy to hear that he has a new project in the works!
The Kung Fu Panda actor is set to star AND produce The Man Who Would Be Polka King. Based on Joshua Brown and John Mikulak’s documentary of the same name, it will follow the rise and fall of Jan Lewan, a Pennsylvania polka sensation who unintentionally brought a town down due to a Ponzi scheme.
Lewan – or Lewandowski as was his original birth name – was born in Poland but defected to Canada in the early 70’s while performing with a Polish musical group, before settling down in the U.S. where he became an American citizen in the mid 80’s. Initially, he played small Polish clubs and churches at night while holding down a hotel job to setting up his own orchestra and playing prestigious venues such as the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and he even earned a Grammy nomination for himself.
As he began to get more famous, he would organise trips for his fans to the still-Communist Poland and would buy souvenirs at Soviet era prices and bring them back with him to America where he would re-sell them at market prices in his own newly-opened store, making major profits. To be able to buy more souvenirs, he started offering unregistered promissory notes at guaranteed 12% interest. Things took a turn for the worst following his wife’s disastrous bid to win Mrs Pennsylvania which led to accusations of votes being tampered with. As suspicion rose up against him, his businesses suffered, compounded by a fatal tour bus crash. He eventually became bankrupt and was sent to jail for fleecing millions of dollars from investors in many states. He served five years in prison from 2004 and fans were shocked when they discovered that their idol had committed one of the largest polka-related financial crimes in history. Some of them were conned by the superstar himself.
Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky (Infinitely Polar Bear) will write and direct the amazing true life story.
Not only that, Ben Stiller’s production company Red Hour Films are producing the picture alongside Permut Presentations, Jack’s own production company Electric Dynamite and ShivHans Pictures. The biopic is currently set to start production this summer.
It sounds like a very interesting project and we can’t wait to check it out.
Do you think this sounds like a good film to check out? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @CelebMix!