HOLLYWOOD—Production is about to begin on a documentary chronicling the life of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione, whose film Caligula, which starred top-line actors Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren, scandalized mainstream media by including hardcore scenes.

The Guccione biopic, titled Filthy Gorgeous: The Extraordinary World of Bob Guccione, will see cameras rolling sometime this fall, and will be directed by Barry Avrich, whose past biographical films have included Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project and The Last Mogul: The Lew Wasserman Story, both of which dealt with the inner workings of the mainstream film industry.

According to a press release on BusinessWire.com, the film examines Guccione as a "visionary, public-relations master, recluse and self-destructive optimist, who went from the pinnacle of power, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to virtually dying penniless."

"I realized that Guccione’s outrageous, yet powerful legacy, could be a spectacular film," said Avrich, who added that he decided to undertake the project on the day Guccione died. "Whether making films, dethroning Miss America, or pushing the envelope in science and publishing, Guccione was an icon."

The EPIX Original Documentary will be available on a number of platforms in the fall of 2013 as part of the network's "Wednesday Docs" series, and is a Melbar Entertainment Group production.