John Z. DeLorean is perhaps one of the most colorful people in the automotive landscape. He’s inspired countless articles, YouTube videos and films—no doubt, in part, because of the iconic car that bore his name and the drug charges later on. But what’s been romanticized and what’s true? A new documentary-hybrid film tries to separate the two.
The upcoming film, called Framing John DeLorean, stars Alec Baldwin as DeLorean and blends archival footage with newly shot vignettes. You can take a look at the trailer here.
Tamir Ardon, the film’s producer, said that this is a project that he’s been working on for over 15 years. He became friends with DeLorean late in his life and knows the family. His aim was educate people about what he calls “the real John DeLorean story.”
“My film sticks to facts and presents the story in a unique way by those who knew DeLorean best and is unbiased,” he told us in an email.
This is the second DeLorean movie to be announced recently. The first was called Driven in 2017 and starred Jason Sudeikis, Lee Pace and Timothy Olyphant.
Unfortunately, that film seemed to be quite exploitative, as pointed out by DeLorean’s daughter, Kathryn:
“I had no idea they were making it, nor [did I have] any involvement. I can tell you my thoughts on it are that it makes me sad. How cliche, I know. But really, sad is all I have. They seem to be the first to [make] a movie that includes my father’s story and it is literally about the single worst part of the story. There is none of the Dream, none of his accomplishments, not even the story of all he did leading up to that horrifying moment. Simply, the tale of the tragedy.”
“Once upon a time people used to ask me if I owned a DeLorean and my answer was, ‘Imagine an iconic representation of the moment your life fell apart. Your father went to jail, your family lost all of their money and your parents got divorced. Would you park it in your driveway?’ Over the years the people in the community have changed everything for me. The proudest accomplishment of my father’s legacy for me has always been the GTO. He invented the American Muscle car. But after years of stories of lives that were changed because of the DMC, my feelings have changed.”
“It took me a lifetime to outlive the constant barrage of, ‘Isn’t your father in jail?’ before I changed my last name. I feel like today it is finally all forgotten and I can share with people my past with all the joy and not all the explanation. Enter this movie. It will bring all the horror of his story back to the top. Sure, it is part of his legacy and something I will always live with. But it would be nice if someone wanted to remember the positive instead of literally just the negative.”
Ardon, too, called Driven a “wildly fictionalized narrative film that sensationalizes the DeLorean story by only focusing on the drug bust from the POV of the criminal informant.” He told me that he made sure to include Kathryn and DeLorean’s son, Zach, in the film as well.
Framing John DeLorean will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City at the end of April. It’ll be in theaters and video on demand on June 7.
We have reached out to Kathryn DeLorean for comment on the matter and will update if we hear back.