The next feature-length film from BMG will be the first-ever career-spanning documentary on legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio.
Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential hard rock vocalists of all time, Dio fronted Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Elf, Heaven & Hell and his own eponymous band over the course of a 40-plus year-long career. He died from cancer in 2010 at the age of 67.
The forthcoming film is the first documentary about Dio to be fully authorized by the artist’s estate. BMG is both financier and executive producer of the film, with all rights available worldwide.
The Dio doc is the latest project in BMG’s fast-growing line of music-related films and television projects, including the Sundance Film Festival selections “David Crosby: Remember My Name” — which was nominated for a Grammy — and the Joan Jett documentary, “Bad Reputation.” Other titles include “The Show’s the Thing,” a film about concert promoters and the early days of the live music business, “Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records,” and “Echo in the Canyon,” one of the top-grossing documentaries of 2019.
Set against the backdrop of Dio’s unfinished autobiography, the as-yet-untitled film will include rare archival footage and photos from his personal archives. According to the announcement, the film will offer intimate scenes with Dio’s closest peers, friends and family. It looks not only at his personal life and career, but also his extensive charity work, which included the Dio-helmed Hear ‘n Aid — the metal world’s answer to Band Aid and USA for Africa in 1985, which raised more than $1 million in a year — and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, founded in his honor, which has raised more than $2.5 million to fund cancer research.
The film is financed solely by BMG and will be helmed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton (“Framing John DeLorean,” “Believer,” “Last Days Here”), produced by Don Argott and Sheena Joyce for 9.14 Pictures, executive produced by Wendy Dio for Niji Productions and Kathy Rivkin Daum for BMG.
Wendy Dio, said, “I am very excited to be working with BMG on Ronnie’s long-awaited documentary. “Ronnie loved his fans and I hope they will enjoy this trip through Ronnie’s life.”
Kathy Rivkin Daum, Executive Producer, BMG, said, “We are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with artists to tell their stories on the big screen. Dio, a larger than life rock hero, whose music means so much to millions of fans worldwide, deserves nothing less. The story behind his passion, ambition, and the highs and lows of success, in the rock and metal worlds, is something audiences have never seen before and won’t soon forget. We are honored to partner with Wendy on this incredible journey celebrating Ronnie’s life and work.”
On February 21, 2020, BMG will release a newly remastered collection of Dio’s acclaimed 1996 – 2004 studio albums “Angry Machines,” “Magica,” “Killing the Dragon” and “Master of the Moon.” Long out of print on CD and never before released on vinyl in North America, the four reissues feature rare and unreleased bonus tracks, including live recordings from the tour for each album that include classics from all across his career.