"Hoop Dreams" director Steven James tweeted today, “We are devastated. But we will continue. We will finish the film.” James himself owes his career to Ebert, who along with Gene Siskel, put their voices behind the little basketball documentary, helping it to become a sensation, and shaming the Academy when the flawed voting process kept the picture from receiving an Oscar nomination. So, it's not a surprise he's directing the Ebert doc, with veterans Steven Zaillian and Martin Scorsese executive producing. The film is using Ebert's autobiography "Life Itself" as a guide, and Ebert is said to have been heavily involved, though the filmmakers had been preparing in case he passed mid-production.
There is perhaps no better tribute to Ebert than a movie from James, Zaillian and Scorsese and we're sure they'll give Ebert's remarkable life and career the honor it's due, while transmitting the passion he had in every word of his work. CNN Films has the rights to the doc and it's expected to arrive in 2014. [via THR]