Wilt Chamberlain's sister, Barbara O. Chamberlain-Lewis, is trying to put a stop to the forthcoming Jayhawkers movie about Chamberlain's time at Kansas University.
Chamberlain-Lewis, acting on behalf of the Chamberlain family, had previously entered into an agreement with filmmaker and KU professor Kevin Willmott to sell the rights to do a movie about Chamberlain. That agreement has since expired and, after Willmott reached out again in the spring, Chamberlain-Lewis told him on the phone and in letters that she and the family would not sign off on the project.
Willmott decided to go ahead with a new script, arguing that the rights were unnecessary since the film's main characters are former KU coach Phog Allen and Chancellor Franklin Murphy, via Tom Keegan of LJWorld.com:
"Our entertainment lawyer told us we didn't need the rights," he said. "It's an ensemble film. Wilt's not the main character, so it's no longer necessary to buy the rights."
"This is about Wilt's time at KU, and KU owns the rights to the story, and the Allen family, and the Allen family is working with us," Willmott said. "... I'm a professor at KU. This is KU history. This is Lawrence history. This is not Wilt's life story. This is a much wider, bigger story than the bio pic. This is probably the movie we always should have been making."
Willmott is currently raising funds for the movie, which has cast current Jayhawk Justin Wesley to play Chamberlain.
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