When Prince died in '16, many of us were very openly devastated. Here was a musician who didn't even seem to hail from this planet, drifting off the mortal coil as if he were a mere human being like the rest of us. The fact that we'd lost David Bowie only a few months prior made it seem like our greatest artists were simply checking out early, as if they knew something we didn't regarding the near future.
Well, Prince may be gone, but his place in history is being preserved, as Ava DuVernay just revealed she's been secretly working on a documentary revolving around the Artist's life and music since January. Speaking with Deadline, DuVernay had this to say about the upcoming Netflix-destined project:
“Prince was a genius and a joy and a jolt to the senses. He was like no other. He shattered every preconceived notion, smashed every boundary, shared everything in his heart through his music. 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.”
Even more fascinating is the fact that, not only has DuVernay been granted full access to the archives and complete recordings housed by Prince's estate (who've been notoriously, and rightfully, guarded regarding the Artist's work after his passing), but Prince himself reportedly blessed the film (in a roundabout way) before his death. In that same Deadline report, it says that the musician reached out to DuVernay regarding working with the Selma director on some undisclosed project.
Over the last few months, DuVernay, editor Spencer Averick, and several members of her creative team have repeatedly visited Prince’s Paisley Park home and studios, assembling audio and video to be cut together into the as-of-yet-untitled non-fiction feature. There's no release date for the Netflix Original as of yet, but DuVernay's work on 13th has already proven her quite the adept documentarian, so we can't wait to see what the finished film looks like.
Naturally, this mysterious Prince doc isn't the only thing DuVernay's been toiling away on for Netflix this year, as she's also got the four-part Limited Series Central Park Five coming in 2019. That horrible story of late '80s racial injustice was chronicled in Ken & Sarah Burns' '12 doc of the same name (which, like all of those filmmakers' works, is totally worth checking out). Should this Prince picture some together quickly, fans of DuVernay's cinema will have one hell of a '19 to look forward to on the streaming platform.