In the summer of 2014, Sam Simon, the celebrated television producer and "Simpsons" co-creator who passed away on March 8, invited a documentary film crew to record the last months of his life. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2012, the 59-year-old had pledged to give away most of his $100 million fortune to causes focused on helping animals.
"One of the things about animal rights, which is not the only thing that I care about in this world, is that your money can bring success," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013. "I see results. There is stuff happening, really good stuff, every week."
Simon's story and passion to help others resonated with Fusion CEO Isaac Lee, who approached him about making a documentary about his cancer fight and animal rights push. "Sam Simon is a singular figure," Lee said in a statement last year. "Our hope is to pay tribute to his life and career while also sparking an important conversation about animal rights and empowering young people to be a catalyst for change."
On March 15, Fusion will premiere "Rebel with a Cause: The Sam Simon Story," a one-hour documentary directed by Justin Baldoni. In addition to chronicling the donations and rallies that Simon helped fund and support, we'll also see the very personal moments of his fight against cancer. Interviews with Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, comedian Drew Carey, Mercy for Animal's Ari Solomon, and several of the original "Simpsons" team will also be featured.
"I’m not driven by long-term decisions that someone would make if they’re trying to have as much money as they can when they’re 90 years old,” Simon says in the film. "I have a limited time on Earth to do what I can do until I’m gone. You are a little more aware of it when you’re sick."
In a Jan. 22 tweet, Simon said that even if he were to die soon, he would still have beaten cancer. "The past two years have been the happiest of my life," he added.
Check out a trailer for the doc below. "Rebel with a Cause" airs on Fusion this March 15 at 8 p.m.
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