Roger Ebert Taking a Leave of Presence

Roger Ebert has been the film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times since April 3, 1967. Now, he’s planning to scale back, slow down, and take a “leave of presence” due to cancer.

What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.

At the same time, I am re-launching the new and improved Rogerebert.com and taking ownership of the site under a separate entity, Ebert Digital, run by me, my beloved wife, Chaz, and our brilliant friend, Josh Golden of Table XI. Stepping away from the day-to-day grind will enable me to continue as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, and roll out other projects under the Ebert brand in the coming year.

He’ll continue to throw his annual film festival, Ebertfest, and there’s even a documentary about his life in the works courtesy of Steve James, Steve Zaillian, and Martin Scorsese.

Also, he’s launching a Kickstarter campaign in the coming weeks to revive his famed TV show “At the Movies.” We’ll definitely keep you posted when that goes lives.   Plus, there’s this: “And gamers beware, I am even thinking about a movie version of a video game or mobile app. Once completed, you can engage me in debate on whether you think it is art.”

So basically, he’s not really slowing down at all.

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