Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert has announced that he will be taking what he dubbed a “leave of presence” from his reviewing job at The Chicago Sun-Times. On his blog, Ebert revealed that this decision was due to the resurgence of cancer.
The former At the Movies host has been battling cancer for the better part of the last decade. In 2002, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which was followed by salivary gland cancer in 2006. He then underwent an emergency surgery which removed the lower part of his jaw.
Earlier this year, Ebert suffered a serious fracture. He states that the pain from this injury was subsequently revealed to be a cancerous growth. Furthermore, the radiation treatment will make it impossible for him to attend his usual amount of screenings.
Ebert claims he will not be giving up reviewing movies entirely. Rather, he will write about select films and bring in a team of writers that he handpicked to pick up the slack.
“I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review,” he writes.
Ebert also updated readers about the re-design of his website rogerebert.com. The new, interactive website is scheduled to launch on April 9.
The film critic will also be playing the lead role in his own film—a bio-documentary based on his memoir Life Itself, which will be directed by Hoop Dreams director Steve James and executive-produced by Martin Scorsese and Steve Zaillian.