Lions Gate Filmsand LSL Productions have begun pre-production on David Leaf and JohnScheinfeld's documentary The US Vs John Lennon, the third project from Lions Gate'sdocumentary unit following Grizzly Man and Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man, which receives its world premiere atToronto.
Endorsed by YokoOno, The US Vs John Lennon covers the period from 1966 to 1976 and chronicles Lennon'stransformation from performer to anti-war activist and the US government'sefforts to silence him.
Lions Gate Filmsretains worldwide rights and plans a 2006 theatrical release to coincide withthe 30th anniversary of the granting of Lennon's permanent residency status inthe US.
LSL Productions'Leaf and Scheinfeld will co-write and produce, with their colleague SteveLigerman also serving as producer.
Lions GateTelevision executive vice president Sandra Stern will serve as executiveproducer with Kevin Beggs, president of Lions Gate Television programming andproduction and head of Lions Gate's documentary feature development andproduction arm, and Lions Gate International president Nick Meyer.
"We could nothave envisioned a more dynamic nor enthusiastic team than we have found inDavid and John for this project," Beggs said.
"This is thekind of film that exemplifies the daring, high quality entertainment producedby Lions Gate throughout its divisions."
"This is animportant story that we've wanted to tell for a long time," Leaf andScheinfeld added. "We couldn't have asked for a better partner than Lions Gate,who share our determination to make a film that will resonate strongly withaudiences around the world."
Sternrepresented Lions Gate in the deal while LSL was represented by Jon Flom ofCharacter Arts and Bruce Kaufman of Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann.
LSL Productions isa privately held documentary production company specialising in cable andtheatrical programming. Leaf wrote and directed Beautiful Dreamer: BrianWilson And The Story Of SmiLE, which received its world premiere on Showtime last autumn, andproduction wrapped recently on the feature documentary Who Is Harry Nilsson(And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)'