EXCLUSIVE: The Tom Petty Estate has taken on new management at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, with plans to bring new attention to Petty’s music and legacy through scripted and non-scripted storytelling. Further details as to the form projects might take haven’t been disclosed, though sources tell Deadline that a traditional biopic on the rock and roll legend has not been a point of conversation.
Tom Petty Dies: Rock Legend Who Fronted The Heartbreakers For 40 Years Was 66
Hollywood Remembers Tom Petty: Paul McCartney, Cameron Crowe Honor The Music Icon
One of the best-selling musical artists of all time, Petty, during his four-decade career, performed for over 140 million fans worldwide, selling upwards of 84M records and seeing his music garner nearly 5B streams. Famous for lyrics touching on themes of love, loss, and perseverance, as well as for his distinctive voice and guitar-driven sound, the Gainesville, Florida native was known as much for his solo work as for that with band The Heartbreakers.
Prior to his death on October 2, 2017, aged 66, Petty released more than a dozen albums with The Heartbreakers, as well as three standalone efforts, not to mention work done with prior band Mudcrutch and supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Hit singles from the solo side of his career included “I Won’t Back Down,” Free Fallin’” and “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” to name just a few. Among his most famous songs with The Heartbreakers were “American Girl,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Refugee,” “The Waiting,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Learning to Fly.”
The winner of the Billboard Century Award and three Grammys, Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the Heartbreakers in 2002. To date, the musician’s life and work has been perhaps most famously examined through the four-hour Peter Bogdanovich documentary Runnin’ Down a Dream, released in 2007. Another notable documentary, Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, from filmmaker Mary Wharton, which focused on the making of his second solo album, Wildflowers, was put out in 2021.
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