×

Ava DuVernay Working on Prince Documentary for Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

UPDATED: Producer/director Ava DuVernay is working with Netflix on a Prince documentary, two sources have confirmed to Variety. The project has the full cooperation of the late artist’s estate, which is providing with interviews, archival footage, photos and archive access. The multiple-part documentary will cover the artist’s entire life.

Prince was a genius and a joy and a jolt to the senses,” she tweeted after the news had broken Monday night. “The only way I know how to make this film is with love. And with great care. I’m honored to do so and grateful for the opportunity entrusted to me by the estate.” The Oscar-nominated filmmaker has been at work on the project for several months.

While renowned for her work on “Selma,” “Queen Sugar” and others, DuVernay made her big-screen debut in 2008 with “This Is the Life,” which chronicled the alternative hip-hop scene in Los Angeles in the 1990s.

DuVernay’s Netflix limited series “The Central Park Five” will premiere in 2019. Her Netflix documentary “13th” was Oscar-nommed.

A source also told Variety that a documentary about Prince and the Revolution’s legendary concert at Minneapolis’ First Avenue in August of 1983 has landed at Apple Music. The show marked the debut of guitarist Wendy Melvoin and the “Purple Rain”-era incarnation of the Revolution, along with the premieres of several songs that would later appear in the album and film nearly a year later (in fact, the album versions of three of those songs were recorded at the show, albeit with significant overdubs added later).

Video and audio recordings from the concert and its rehearsals have been circulating on bootleg for many years, and feature a longer take of “Purple Rain” with an additional, seemingly ad-libbed verse that was dropped from the official version. Another song from the concert, “Electric Intercourse,” was originally mooted for the album but was replaced by the similar but superior song, “The Beautiful Ones.” A studio version of “Electric Intercourse” was finally released on the “Purple Rain” deluxe edition in 2017, although many fans consider the live version to be better.

Reps for the Prince Estate, Apple Music and Netflix did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.

More Music

  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

    If 'Old Town Road' Wins a Grammy, Will Nine Inch Nails Share the Award?

    Nine Inch Nails, a banjo and Lil Nas X made unlikely bed partners in the genre-bending mega-smash “Old Town Road,” which included a track from NIN’s largely instrumental 2008 album “Ghosts I–IV.” But while Trent Reznor and frequent collaborator Atticus Ross receive co-producer/co-writer credits for having created the hit’s hook, don’t expect their names to [...]

  • The Go Go's at Chicagofest in

    'The Go-Go's': Film Review

    In the terrific documentary “The Go-Go’s,” there’s a tasty clip of the band playing an early club gig in 1979, when they were part of the L.A. punk scene. They wear bushy black hair and pale white makeup (with rouge!), as if they were trying to be mannequin versions of Darby Crash, and they have [...]

  • WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23:

    Motown, Atlantic, Roc Nation Executives Gather for Grit Before the Gram Event

    On Thursday, Jan. 22, amidst the mayhem of Grammy week in Los Angeles, the Vanity Group CEO Karleen Roy  threw her inaugural “Grit Before the Gram” event. Billed as “the soundtrack of our solidarity,” the evening was produced to provide an environment of unity, awareness and impact. Agents, producers, managers, directors and label executives were [...]

  • Bebe Rexha and Cyndi LauperBebe Rexha's

    Bebe Rexha, Kelsea Ballerini, Cyndi Lauper Promote Harmony to Counter Gender Bias

    Bebe Rexha hosted female artists, songwriters and producers at Los Angeles music industry hotspot Craig’s for her third annual Women in Harmony pre-Grammy brunch on Friday. The star-studded guest list included Cyndi Lauper, Kelsea Ballerini, Tinashe, Jordin Sparks, Dinah Jane, Natasha Bedingfeld, Sabrina Carpenter, Zhavia, Lindsey Stirling, JoJo, Daya, Becky G, Bea Miller, Ashlee Simpson, [...]

  • Rammstein Promotes North America Stadium Tour

    Rammstein Promotes North American Stadium Tour with a Blimp

    German metal group Rammstein will be embarking on their first-ever North American stadium tour in August. It’s the first time the band will tour the U.S. since 2011, and to promote what are sure to be a series of pyrotechnic-heavy events, they did it the most metal way possible: with a blimp flying over Los [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content