New project in the works to celebrate Pam Grier

Posted On
Posted By admin

Blaxploitation and Jackie Brown icon Pam Grier is set to receive a biopic based on her storied life and times.

The Coffy and Foxy Brown star is collaborating with Village Roadshow Pictures to develop a project based on her acclaimed 2010 autobiography, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. The production is still in early development, so it is not yet known how it will materialise, but a feature-length biopic or a series are touted. Furthermore, Grier is signed on as an executive producer, with Jillian Apfelbaum, Tristen Tuckfield, and Nic Gordon handling duties for Village Roadshow.

The book delves into Grier’s life story. Not only does this include rising to prominence in the 1970s in staple blaxploitation and women in prison films such as Jack Hill’s Coffy and Foxy Brown, as well as The Big Doll House and Women in Cages, but it recounts a series of high-profile relationships that she’s had. In 1969, she met the famous basketball player Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, and early on, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He proposed on the condition that she also convert, but she refused, and he married someone else the same day.

Later, when promoting Coffy in 1973, Grier met comedian Freddie Prinze, the father of Freddie Prinze Jr, and they considered marriage. Still, Grier was reluctant to settle down with him due to his addiction and mental health issues. They remained in contact after they split. Through Prinze, she met another comic, Richard Pryor, and they started dating after working on 1977’s Greased Lightning. She helped him learn to read and go sober, but after six months, he relapsed. He would eventually marry someone else while still dating Grier. 

Most importantly, Grier was a high-profile Black female star in an era when there were few in Hollywood. She fought against endemic racism and sexism in her work and wider life, which gives more significance to her tale. Coffy is particularly praised for the way it switches gender roles, with Grier considered the first African-American female lead in an action movie. 

Grier would carry on working through the 1980s, appearing in the likes of Miami Vice and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Then, in 1988, she was diagnosed with stage-four cervical cancer and told she had 18 months to live. Through intense treatment, she was able to enter remission.

While Grier would go on to star in classics such as 1996’s Mars Attacks!, her best-known later work came the following year in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Speaking to The Guardian in 1998 about hiring her, the auteur explained: “Pam is such an icon. To one degree or another, it is like casting John Wayne in a movie. You cast John Wayne in a Western, you are not just dealing with this unknown figure walking in there that you have got to learn about.”

He added: “By casting Pam, I did term this in my mind to a Pam Grier movie, but it was a Pam Grier movie with its feet on the ground more. That is not putting anything down, because Coffy is one of my favourite movies, actually; I love Coffy. Jackie Brown is a real human being.”

Grier has also continued to enjoy success with 2023’s thriller Cinnamon, which was produced by Village Roadshow for Tubi. Her next project is the second edition of the horror anthology Them: the Scare, which arrives on Prime Video on April 25th.

[embedded content]

Related Post