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The Who remain one of the most popular rock bands in the world and the audience’s reaction at the 12-12-12 Sandy relief concert this week can testify to that. But without their manager and producer Kit Lambert, that would likely have never happened. A film on Lambert’s life and death is currently in development, with actor Cary Elwes set to make his directorial debut with the project.
The project was first reported on by The Hollywood Reporter, which confirmed that the group’s surviving members - lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend - have both read Pat Gilbert’s script and have approved it. They even added biographical details and will allow for the group’s music to be used.
As Rolling Stone notes, Lambert and Chris Stamp discovered The Who while they were trying to make a film about an undiscovered band. They scrapped that idea and instead went on to manage and produce one of the most successful groups of the 1960s and 1970s. Townshend has often said that Lambert pushed him to think more creatively, a direction that resulted in the influential Tommy rock opera.
Lambert and Stamp also founded Track Records, which released Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Lambert died at the age of 45 in 1981, while Stamp died just last month.
“It's a riches-to-rags story,” producer Orian Williams told THR. “Kit Lambert was one of the great engines of creativity and change in the 1960s.”
Elwes is best known for The Princess Bride and recently worked with Sylvester Stallone for Rescue Me, which will be released next year.