Tyrese and his production company Voltron Films are suing Joan Pendergrass — the widow of Teddy Pendergrass — over the rights to a biopic of the late soul singer.
Back in 2017, the Fast & Furious star took to Facebook to reveal that Joan Pendergrass granted him the rights to a biopic of the “Turn Off The Lights” singer, and he couldn’t have been more thrilled about it.
“I own the life rights to the Teddy Pendergrass story,” Tyrese wrote in the caption. “He embraced me and told me and his wife Joan Pendergrass and his beloved family that “No one will tell my story of my life but you”….. I trust you and feel like you will do right by me and my story……//. I’m still to this day so moved by the gesture that I won’t rest until it’s done….. As he laid to rest in this casket I committed then and I’m still committed now to telling his story……. The life story of Teddy Pendergrass coming soon……. in Jesus name amen!!!!!!!!!!”
Then, in 2019, Deadline reported that filming for the Teddy Pendergrass biopic was underway, with Tyrese set to play the silk-voiced crooner, and with Warner Brothers set to distribute the film. The outlet also reported that Tyrese had teamed up with Empire producer Lee Daniels to produce, and that Joan Pendergrass was slated to be the executive producer.
The film, however, didn’t have a name or a production start date at that time.
Now, according to TMZ, Tyrese is suing Joan Pendergrass because, he alleges, Teddy’s widow refused to extend the option on the rights to Teddy’s story back in 2022. What’s more, Tyrese claimed that he invested $450,000 into the production since he first obtained the rights to the film back in 2011, and Pendergrass’s failure to extend the option resulted in financial damages to Voltron Films.
As such, Tyrese is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages.
Joan Pendergrass, meanwhile, is claiming that she only granted the rights to Tyrese in exchange for his promotion of her late husband’s music and legacy.
As of this writing, Joan Pendergrass hasn’t filed an answer to Tyrese’s suit, and she had no other comment as of press time.