Announced in the weeks before his death, Sidney — a live adaption of Poitier’s The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography — will chronicle the star’s rise from his humble beginnings in the Bahamas to his pioneering career as a history-making Oscar winner, performer, director and activist. It will be written by Charles Randolph-Wright and directed by Their Eyes Were Watching God’s Ruben Santiago-Hudson — who were both personally chosen by Poitier’s family. One of Poitier’s daughters, filmmaker Anika Poitier, Ron Gillyard and Barry Krost will be responsible for the play’s production.
“To have the trust of Mr. Poitier and his family is one of the greatest gifts I have been given – what an honor to get to dramatize the true measure of this monumental man,” Randolph-Wright said in a statement at the time. “I look forward to the world discovering the astounding person that is behind one of our most prodigious heroes, a man who continues to inspire.”
Santiago-Hudson added, “Sir Sidney Poitier is clearly one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema. His integrity and standard of excellence set the bar for generations to come. It is an honor to be a part of celebrating the incomparable Sidney Poitier’s monumental career in this play but also the man and his extraordinary life.”
“For over 80 years, Sidney and I laughed, cried and made as much mischief as we could,” Harry Belafonte told Page Six. “He was truly my brother and partner in trying to make this world a little better. He certainly made mine a whole lot better.”
In a statement to Deadline, Denzel Washington added, “It was a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentle man and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years. God bless him and his family.”