Film on Bill Gaines Gaining Steam

May 22nd, 2010 | Posted in MAD Magazine

It’s been a while since news of the proposed bio-pic of the life of MAD publisher William M. Gaines saw any light of day. It’s been in the rumor mill for about 4 years now. About three years ago The MAD Blog linked to reports that Joel Eisenberg and his Iron Mountain Media had picked up the film “life rights” of Gaines and planned to co-produce a biopic based on his life. tentatively titled, “Ghoulishly Yours, William M. Gaines”. A year later director John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers, Trading Places, etc.) was attached to the project.

Just this past week the film project reared it’s head again, with reports that Landis was indeed gathering up funds to direct a film about the life of Gaines.

The obvious drama of Gaines’ testimony before the senate hearings that stemmed from Fredrick Wertham‘s misguided book Seduction of the Innocent aside, there will be plenty of story to fill up a film based on his life. If you’ve ever read the book “The MAD World of William M. Gaines” by longtime MAD scribe Frank Jacobs, you’ll know although he was one of the giants of innovation in the comic’s world, Gaines didn’t want to have anything to do with the business when it was thrust upon him after his father’s untimely death in a boating accident, and the stories his antics while producing of the different comics from the E.C days to MAD are full of hysterical moments. Gaines became quite an eccentric as well, and he will be quite a colorful character for the big screen…. assuming this ever gets made, of course.


  1. gustavo says:

    Oh yes, a film about Gaines would be a great idea! As great as a film about the creation of MAD magazine

  2. David Lubin says:

    That’s MAD! Who would play Gaines? John Goodman?

  3. Tyler Garn says:

    I absolutely cannot wait for this film. For years I’ve hoped for some folks in Hollywood to realize what a great, compelling and seminal character Gaines would be for a movie treatment like this. I absolutely think that John Landis is the right guy for the job but I hope that he and the team behind this film embrace the other characters and artists that were such a major and interesting part of the E.C./MAD story. I really look forward to more news on this one!

  4. Melvin M Melvin says:

    Funny, Dave Lubin – John Goodman is exactly who I said on the MAD Mumblings forum, some time ago.

    Great minds thinking alike, methinks :0)


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