“The Sparks Brothers” takes a look at siblings Ron and Russell Mael, two halves of the enigmatic rock pop duo known as Sparks. Wright’s film, capturing their decades-long career and impact, features commentary from celebrity fans like Flea, Beck, Jack Antonoff, Jason Schwartzman and Neil Gaiman.
The film, which argues the Sparks are at once hugely influential and criminally overlooked, reunites Wright with the studio that will distribute his next feature film, “Last Night in Soho.”
In addition to directing, Wright also produced the documentary with his partner Nira Park through their company Complete Fiction Pictures. George Hencken, and Complete Fiction’s Laura Richardson also produced the film. MRC Non-Fiction financed the film. Focus Features will distribute “The Sparks Brothers” in the U.S. and Canada, and Universal Pictures will roll out the film internationally.
“It’s hard to imagine a better pairing of subjects and filmmaker than Ron and Russell and Edgar,” says Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski. “For the past five decades, Sparks have been pushing the bounds of pop music with iconoclastic style and a perpetual mission to try something new rather than relying on the tried-and-true. It’s that perseverance that has made them among the most influential bands in history.”
He continues, “In telling their story, Edgar has crafted an absolute joy bomb that will literally have you dancing in the aisles whether you grew up following them or are just now realizing how much their sound already shaped your life.”
In her review for Variety, film critic Jessica Kiang called documentary a “fabulous tribute.” “After the 140 minutes of “The Sparks Brothers” zip by like a tight half-hour, even the previously uninitiated may well feel like they’ve known Sparks all along — or at least that they should have,” she wrote.
Amit Dey, head of MRC Non-Fiction, said, “I’ve had the privilege of seeing Focus Features do what they do best, and they are the perfect team to bring Edgar’s love letter to Ron & Russell to audiences around the world. We are truly envious of everyone who will get to experience Sparks for the first time.”
Wright is represented by CAA and Nelson Davis.