For four years, documentarian Brett Morgen has been working on a secret project centered around legendary performer David Bowie and is now finalizing the film, according to Variety. While considered a documentary, the project was curiously described by one source as "neither documentary nor biography, but an immersive cinematic experience built, in part, upon thousands of hours of never before seen material."
Morgen hasn't given the film a title yet, but it is possible he'll debut the project at the Sundance Film Festival in January, right around the anniversary of Bowie's death. Moreover, insiders suggest the film will heavily rely on concert footage of Bowie, suggesting it will take a different angle than Morgen's previous musician documentary Cobain: Montage of Heck, which recounted the life of the talented yet troubled Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain from his early years growing up in Aberdeen, Washington to his untimely death in 1994. Morgen takes on about every role imaginable for this new project as he's directing, writing, editing, and producing.
Bowie's producer, Tony Visconti, will help with music production for the film with the help of the Oscar-winning crew behind the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. From 1968 all the way until Bowie's final album Blackstar in 2016, Visconti kept a working relationship with Bowie not only as a producer but occasionally as a performer in the background of some of the musician's most famous tracks including the title single from Bowie's third album The Man Who Sold the World. Also on the sound team are Paul Massey and David Giammarco of Ford v. Ferrari fame and John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone (Bohemian Rhapsody).
The Bowie documentary will be Morgen's first work since releasing his Emmy-winning documentary Jane on primatologist Jane Goodall for NatGeo. Despite their hesitance on a biopic on the late singer, Bowie's estate gave their blessing on the doc in part because of Morgen's cavalcade of successes and the focus on Bowie's performances. Morgen had access to everything from Bowie's career which, along with everything else he acquired the rights to, gave him a robust collection of material to pull from.
Sources in the Variety article say Morgen hopes to see his Bowie film released in IMAX at some point following a likely festival circuit run. The film is produced and financed by BMG and Live Nation and will be released under the banner of Morgen's own Public Road Productions.
He met with producers and the crew but never auditioned.
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