Tucked away in a New York Times article about Lil Peep, a rapper who died of an accidental overdose at 21 last November, is a surprising parenthetical about the documentary being made about him: “Terrence Malick, a friend of the Womack family, is an executive producer.” The Womacks are the family of Lil Peep, real name Gustav Ahr, whereas Malick is the Oscar-nominated, Palme d’Or–winning director of films like “The Tree of Life” and “Days of Heaven” — not necessarily who you’d expect to be involved with a nonfiction account of a troubled rapper’s life and death.
It makes its own kind of sense, however, considering that Malick’s most recent film is the music-heavy “Song to Song” and he’s made a habit of doing the unexpected throughout his singular career; most recently, he made a commercial for the new Google Pixel 3 phone. No other information about the Lil Peep project is currently known — NYT said only that “there may be a soundtrack to accompany a coming documentary about Peep’s life” — but it wouldn’t be surprising if it arrived in theaters before “Radegund,” Malick’s next feature. Though his output has increased in recent years, the filmmaker is well known for spending ample time in the editing room and keeping audiences waiting; he only made five movies in the first four decades of his career.
Malick has produced a number of other documentaries, from “The Endurance” and “The Unforeseen” to “Almost Holy” and “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.”
Peep released just one album before his passing, last year’s “Come Over When You’re Sober.” A follow-up, “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2,” is forthcoming.