HBO Documentary Development Slate: Princess Diana, DEFIANT ONES and More

Doc_HeaderWe cobble together some news about documentaries in development or upcoming ones announcing debut dates here. Though HBO Documentary Films are not a place for popular discussion around here they are a huge part of HBO’s schedule. Here is what is forthcoming on the non-fiction front.


  • Definitive Princess Diana Documentary

Straight from a Press release comes the information that an extensive biography of Princess Diana on the landmark 20th anniversary of her death.

HBO has U.S. rights to the film, produced by Oxford Film and Television for the ITV network in the U.K. The unprecedented documentary will be built People_PrincessDiana-300x169around interviews with The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, both of whom talk openly and in depth about their mother and how her influence has shaped their lives.


Their Royal Highnesses will also offer their perspective on the Princess’ unique contribution to public life, including her charitable and humanitarian work. Areas including landmines, child bereavement, homelessness and HIV and AIDS, will be explored. The film, which will be broadcast on HBO and ITV later in the year, will also include individual contributions from many key figures in the Princess’ life and new archival material. Through the personal and intimate reflections of her two sons and of her friends and family, many of whom have never spoken publicly before, the film will offer fresh and revealing insights into Princess Diana, an iconic figure who touched the lives of millions.


“This film will show Princess Diana in a way she has never been seen before, through the eyes of the two people who knew her best,” commented Nick Kent, the film’s executive producer at Oxford Film and Television. The producer/director of the film is Ashley Gething.


  • HBO Airing Avett Brothers Documentary

People_AvettBrothers-300x169Straight from a Press release from earlier this year comes the news that watchers of HBO will have access to MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS.

HBO has acquired U.S. TV rights to the feature documentary MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS, co-directed and produced by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, ahead of its March 15 world premiere in the 24 Beats Per Second section of the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival. MAY IT LAST is an Apatow Production (HBO’s “Crashing” and “Girls”) in association with RadicalMedia (“Hamilton’s America,” “What Happened, Miss Simone?”) and marks Apatow and Bonfiglio’s second collaboration, following last year’s acclaimed “Doc & Darryl.”


Filmed with extraordinary access over the course of more than two years, the film chronicles the band, fronted by brothers Scott and Seth Avett, on the long journey from their rural North Carolina childhoods to topping the charts and selling out arenas, experiencing heartbreak, tragedy and joy along the way. The film also provides an inside look at their collaboration with legendary producer Rick Rubin while recording the 2017 Grammy-nominated album “True Sadness.”


Featuring a wealth of exclusive footage of the Avetts in the studio and at home, never-before-seen family photographs, concert footage and revealing interviews with band members Scott (banjo, lead vocals) and Seth (guitar, lead vocals) Avett, Bob Crawford (bass), Joe Kwon (cello), Tania Elizabeth (fiddle), Paul DeFiglia (keyboards) and Mike Marsh (drums), as well as producer Rick Rubin and intimate family and friends, the film takes an in-depth look at the personal and creative relationship between the brothers that helps define America’s biggest roots band.


  • HBO Is Making a Ben Bradlee Documentary

Who, you ask? Ben Bradlee was head editor of the Washington Post up until his death in 2014. BECOMING WARREN BUFETT’s co-director Peter Kunhardt will serve as producer with documentarian John People_BillBradlee-300x163Maggio directing the chronicle of Bradlee’s life and career. There are likely a million and one stories to tell about this newspaper man who had his hand on the pulse of Washington D. C. news for decades.

It is understood that the majority of interviews about the man have been shot, but a hefty backlog of archival footage still needs to be gone through before this documentary comes to HBO.

(Source: Town&Country)


  • DEFIANT ONES Documentary Gets July Debut Date

HBO has confirmed that THE DEFIANT ONES will debut SUNDAY, JULY 9 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), with other new episodes debuting successive nights, July 10, 11 and 12, at the same time.

Set amid many of the defining events of the past four decades, this four-part documentary event tells the stories of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, their improbable partnership and their leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture. Directed by Allen Hughes, who conducted extensive interviews with both men, the show also includes interviews with such music icons as Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Stevie Nicks, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Jon Landau, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, Diddy and THE DEFIANT ONES also features never-before-seen footage from a multitude of recording and writing sessions with Eazy-E, JJ Fad, Stevie Nicks, N.W.A., Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others. A trailer has dropped.

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