AceShowbiz - The life and death of "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop" filmmaker Don Simpson, whose corpse was pronounced the "most toxic" in California autopsy history, are the subject of an explosive new podcast.
Half of production powerhouse Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Don worked on a series of 1980s and early 1990s blockbusters with his partner, Jerry, before his shocking overdose death in 1996. And when chiefs at the medical examiner's office checked his cause of death, they found more than 22 different pharmaceuticals in his system.
Now bosses at iHeartRadio have snapped up his scandalous story for a new 24-part audio series, titled "The Don", which will be hosted by "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" star Malaya Rivera Drew and produced by Oscar winner Will McCormack and David Harris Kline.
The series will track Don's rise as he tried to break into the Hollywood film industry, his days as an industry giant who partied with the rich and famous, and his struggles with drugs and alcohol, which led to his untimely death at the age of 52.
"The Don" will feature both film clips and real life testimony, as well as staged re-enactments of events. "This new anthology style podcast shows how audio has the ability to paint a picture perfect experience for listeners," said McCormack in a statement obtained by Deadline.
"The powerful use of narration and story-telling sets the scene, allowing listeners to go back in time to the 1980s, an iconic time in Hollywood for many reasons, but also a defective time. Although Don Simpson was flawed in many ways, this podcast works hard to capture how influential he was and shares his complete story and I think our listeners will appreciate that."
Malaya, meanwhile, added, "As an actress and as a woman of color, I was shocked but not surprised to learn of how virulent and rampant toxic masculinity was in Hollywood back then. This podcast is meant to be an entertaining, high octane ride-the rise and fall of a creative genius."
"Don was, above all else, an entertainer. But we also expose a deep underbelly of Hollywood and the systemic issues that we are still grappling with today."
The first six episodes of The Don will debut on May 11.