The feature length documentary is directed by Oscar-winning helmer Alex Gibney and produced by Mick Jagger, and chronicles Brown’s career from his first hit in 1956, “Please, Please, Please,” including his performances at the Apollo Theater, the T.A.M.I. Show and the Paris Olympia. The film includes previously unreleased footage, interviews and photographs.
“Alex Gibney has brought his prodigious filmmaking talents to this portrait of the phenomenon known as James Brown,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, in a statement. “Together with Mick Jagger and his incredible producing team, they have created a captivating portrait of an artist – both the musician and the man.”
“We had full access to amazing never-before-seen photos and video from James Brown’s estate, which Alex Gibney used brilliantly to tell the story of James’ career from its inception through its pinnacle,” Jagger said.
“When Mick Jagger reached out to me to direct the documentary, we had a common goal in mind, to take the music of James Brown and put it into a larger historical context,” Gibney said. “As a musician, ‘Mr. Dynamite’ was the essential funk pioneer, a hugely influential figure and one of the greatest live performers – ever. Beyond his music, Brown’s cultural impact extends to the present day.”
The documentary comes on the heels of “Get On Up,” a film based on Brown’s life released in August, starring Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul.
Gibney has worked with HBO before, directing 2012’s “Mea Maxima Culpa,” which aired on the network and won three Emmy awards. Jagger is currently working with Martin Scorsese to produce a series for HBO set in the 1970s music industry starring Bobby Cannavale.