The Zappa Family Trust has given its backing to the untitled project.
“There has yet to be a definitive, authorized documentary on the extraordinary life and work of Frank Zappa,” Winter said. “I am beyond thrilled to be embarking on this journey. Our tale will be told primarily in Frank’s own words; he will be our guide through this journey.”
Winter expects the doc to be finished in time for release in 2017.
“This is not an easy story to tell and we trust that Alex truly understands the complex and multi-faceted man that my father was,” Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa said.
Zappa was a self-taught composer, arranger and producer who sought to push the boundaries of music. He released more than 65 albums and made several films in a career cut short by prostate cancer in 1993 at the age of 52.
Winter starred in “The Lost Boys” and the two “Bill and Ted” movies with Keanu Reeves. He’s directed the films “Freaked” and “Fever,” while his documentary credits include “Downloaded,” “Deep Web” and “Smosh: The Movie,” which premiered Wednesday and has a digital release Friday.
Zappa’s first album, “Freak Out!” from the Mothers of Invention, was released in 1966 and launched an avant-garde musical style that included abrupt, rhythmical changes, orchestral themes, spoken words and electronic noises. The group followed with “Absolutely Free,” ” Lumpy Gravy,” “Cruising with Ruben and the Jets” and “Uncle Meat” before disbanding.
Reformed versions of the Mothers of Invention performed until 1975 with albums including “Burnt Weeny Sandwich,” “Weasels Ripped My Flesh,” “200 Motels,” “Just Another Band from L.A.” and “The Grand Wazoo.”
Zappa was a strong advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.