Netflix cues Bennett docu with Eastwood

Homevid company to finance pic

Clint Eastwood, Tony Bennett and Netflix have joined forces.

Homevid company’s Red Envelope Entertainment will finance, produce and distribute a docu starring Eastwood and the singer.

Eastwood also is exec producing the movie, titled “Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends.”

Pic is expected to get a theatrical release this summer, either directly from Red Envelope or from one of the label’s partners. Company has previously worked with IFC and other distribs to release its pics in theaters, but execs said it was unclear which distrib, if any, it would partner with.

Company said it is also planning on selling TV rights and building a live event around the preem.

Pic, which is in production, is centered around Eastwood’s interviews with the octogenarian crooner, as well as rare archival footage of his concerts.

It is described by insiders as one-part concert pic and one-part biography of a person who has encountered, and influenced, American history.

“Tony Bennett has been at the enter of the culture for more than 60 years,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “There are not that many people on the planet who can talk about Duke Ellington, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy in the first person.”

Bruce Ricker, a music consultant on many Hollywood pics who also helmed the Eastwood doc “Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows,” is directing.

Bennett proved his long-standing relevance by nabbing Grammy awards on Sunday night including for his album “Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic.”

Pic has been a passion project for Eastwood, who found time to work on it around his busy schedule for twin war pics “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters From Iwo Jima” as well as “Million Dollar Baby.”

Eastwood met Bennett at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Danny Bennett of RPM Records, Bennett’s manager and son, brought the project to Red Envelope.

While Netflix’s Red Envelope has produced films before, the company has mostly concentrated on acquiring finished projects, buying pics like “Sherrybaby” and “The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair” at film fests over the past year.

Execs, however, downplayed the idea that this was start of a new phase.

“This is not so much a step into production as an opportunistic project that we want to work on because of the talent involved,” Sarandos said.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Digital News from Variety