By Iman Sadri
February 21, 2020
Today marks the 77th Birthday of a mentor of mine – Hollywood Legend, David Geffen. I’d like to think of Mr. Geffen as a mentor from distance. I’ve been inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic. A music + film entrepreneur in the greatest sense is one David Geffen. He joins Jerry Weintraub in a pairing of moguls who I most admire in Hollywood. He is responsible as the namesake of so many institutions that he has contributed to. Including the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Also The Geffen Playhouse. And Geffen Records. Among some of the places you have seen bearing his name.
David Geffen rose out of the mailroom of the William Morris Agency to ultimately co-found DreamWorks, along with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. He became a millionaire by the age of 25. He is the regarded as ‘the wealthiest man in the American film industry.’ Having a net worth north of $8 Billion.
David Geffen’s life needs to be made into a biopic. The film could take place as a life retrospective or focus on Geffen’s career during any of his prolific decades. In the 1960s as a rising agent he signed up-and-coming talents such as Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, and Janis Joplin. He co-founded Asylum Records in the 1970s signing such acts as Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan and The Eagles.
After a stint with Warner Communications in the film business, Geffen returned to the music business, starting Geffen Records. He signed on mega-watt names such as John Lennon, Elton John, and Donna Summer. In the early 1980s he created the Geffen Film Company with the help of Warner.
He produced hits such Risky Business, which launched the career of Tom Cruise. He made a splash on Broadway with Cats, which became one of Broadway’s biggest hits ever. Geffen later signed bands such as Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana which proved to be monstrous chart toppers.
After creating DreamWorks SKG, Geffen’s net worth has risen to over $8 Billion. Also contributing to his wealth are a vast array of Real Estate and Art holdings. A biopic of David Geffen is needed to be made. The actor who most resembles the ‘Rising Star Geffen’ of the 1970s and 1980s is Paulo Costanzo. He is best known for his role in the film Road Trip and the USA series Royal Pains. If this biopic was being made in 1978 maybe Billy Crystal at the time could also have played the role of Geffen – who slightly resembled Geffen for a time.
But a biopic of David Geffen being played by Paulo Costanzo would be an excellent choice. Mila Kunis could even portray Cher, who was in a relationship with Geffen. A life as extraordinary as Geffen’s needs to be brought to life on screen. And now is the time.
Iman Sadri is the founder of @BiopicCasting and @LASmileMagazine. He serves as an advisor to numerous casting directors.