Rock Hudson Doc 'Accidental Activist' in Works With Altitude (Exclusive)

Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor in 'Giant'
Altitude

Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor in 'Giant'

Heading to the American Film Market, Stephen Kijak's 'Rock Hudson: Accidental Activist' will explore how the Golden Age icon became the "the single most influential AIDS patient ever."

One of Hollywood's most famous leading men is getting the feature documentary treatment.

Rock Hudson: Accidental Activist comes from Stephen Kijak (Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, We Are X) and producers George Chignell (Citizen K, Listen to Me Marlon) and Will Clarke (Horrible Histories: The Movies — Rotten Romans, Filth), with Altitude set to produce and handle international sales, introducing the project to buyers at the virtual American Film Market next week.

Altitude Distribution will also release the film in the U.K. and Ireland.

An icon of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Rock Hudson was the man all women wanted and all men wanted to be. His death from AIDS-related complications in 1985 shocked the world and upended decades-old assumptions about his image and the image-making of Old Hollywood.

Hudson would go on to become "the single most influential AIDS patient ever," forcing the world to sit up and pay attention to a disease too long ignored and stigmatized.

With access to his personal archive and intimate interviews with those closest to him, Rock Hudson: Accidental Activist explores both the myth and the truth of Hudson's tragic yet inspiring journey and how myth became man, and how this man became an accidental activist in the fight against AIDS.

"Thrilled to be teaming up with Altitude to tell this important story – and not just the story of a Hollywood icon, but of the era and activism of the 80’s around the AIDS crisis," said Kijak. "In a time where public health and the government’s response to it is front and center, it feels extremely vital to re-evaluate and understand that charged moment in our history."

Kijak’s credits include the BAFTA-nominated feature documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, the platinum-selling Stones in Exile for the Rolling Stones and the new documentary series Equal for HBO Max about the decades-long fight for LGBTQ rights.

Chignell has been a producer of documentaries for twenty years, working as head of production for the award-winning documentary company Passion Pictures overseeing production both in the U.K. and US. Some of George’s credits include BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Searching for Sugar Man, I am Ali, Project Nim, Listen to Me Marlon, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars and most recently Alex Gibney's Citizen K.

Clarke is the founder of Altitude Film Entertainment and has produced and exec-produced numerous features, including Four Lions, Attack the Block, This is England, Filth, Horrible Histories: The Movie, Diego Maradona and Whitney.

Executive producers for the project are Andy Mayson and Mike Runagall for Altitude.