Film will be executive produced by Clint Eastwood and directed by Bruce Ricker
Netflix, in association with its Red Envelope Entertainment division, announced Tuesday it had acquired worldwide rights to produce and distribute a new documentary exploring and celebrating the life and career of the legendary recording artist and concert performer, Tony Bennett. "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends" will be directed by Bruce Ricker ("The Last of the Blue Devils," "Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows"), with Clint Eastwood serving as executive producer.
Tony Bennett is beloved as one of the premiere interpreters of the Great American Songbook. The new documentary will follow Bennett's more than 50 years in the music and entertainment industries against the backdrop of a changing America. Weaving seldom seen archival footage with never before seen excerpts of Bennett's recent premier performance at the Monterey Jazz festival -- highlighted by an on-camera interview conducted by Eastwood that explores the essence of Bennett's artistry -- the film will present an exceptional man in a rare way: a living legend through his life, times and music.
This cinematic portrayal of Tony Bennett caps a year-long celebration of a singer who celebrated his 80th birthday last August. Bennett's most recent chart topping CD, "Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic," has also reached another milestone for the singer, becoming the biggest selling album of his career. "Duets" was awarded three Grammy Awards last Sunday in the categories of "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album," "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals" and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)."
The documentary project was brought to Netflix and Red Envelope Entertainment by Danny Bennett, president of RPM Productions, on behalf of Tony Bennett and Clint Eastwood. Netflix is committed to providing consumers with access to the widest variety of films available and, in association with Red Envelope Entertainment, will fully finance the production. An innovative release plan will include DVD rental and sale, online and TV distribution, as well as an event-driven premiere and theatrical release this summer. The film is currently in production at locations around the country, including Astoria, Queens in New York City, where Bennett was born, as well as Hollywood, California.
"The coming together of Tony Bennett and Clint Eastwood -- two enduring and iconic figures in the world of American entertainment -- is a cultural flashpoint," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. "Netflix spearheading this prestigious project showcases our abilities to bring unique content to our subscribers and, in this case, a global audience."
"'Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends' is an historical record of an American icon," said director and producer Bruce Ricker. "We wanted the film to reach the widest audience possible and Netflix achieves that goal."