Universal Music Group and Passion Pictures, which won an Oscar for music-themed documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” are teaming to produce a documentary feature about the life of INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997.
Hutchence’s friend Richard Lowenstein, whose credits include “He Died with a Felafel in His Hand,” “Say a Little Prayer” and “Strikebound,” will direct. Lowenstein directed the majority of Hutchence and INXS’s music videos and concert films, and Hutchence’s only lead role in a dramatic feature film, 1986’s “Dogs in Space.”
Lowenstein said he had “been working on the definitive documentary film journey into the heart and soul of this complex, shy, poetic and exceptionally charismatic man for many years.”
David Blackman, UMG’s head of film and television development and production, described Hutchence as “a musical genius who led one of the world’s biggest bands to global stardom, only to succumb to a tragic end.” He said the film would provide “the world with a portrait of a man who left behind an enduring musical and cultural legacy.”
Passion Pictures’ John Battsek said: “To know we have access to everyone and everything required to make such a film and the full support of UMG just reaffirms to us all that we can tell this story in the truest and most authentic way possible.”
Creative Artists Agency will represent the film’s North American distribution rights. INXS is signed to Universal Music Publishing Group.
Hutchence’s daughter Tiger Lily will be a beneficiary of the film’s proceeds, Chris Murphy, INXS’s manager and chairman of Petrol Records, said.