Anthony Bourdain died tragically and unexpectedly in June 2018, but his legacy continues to live on, and will be further explored in a new documentary from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (“20 Feet From Stardom,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”). The project has been in the works since last summer, just after Bourdain’s death.
CNN Films, HBO Max, and Focus Features are partnering on the still-untitled film, which is produced by Neville’s Tremolo Productions. Focus will release the documentary first in theaters before a television premiere on CNN, followed by a streaming bow on the soon-to-launch HBO Max, coming in 2020. Dates for the release have yet to be announced.
“Anthony Bourdain did more to help us understand each other than just about anyone in the history of television. He connected with people not in spite of his flaws, but because of them. To have the opportunity to tell his story is humbling. CNN is in the DNA of Tony’s work, and the perfect partners in this journey. I’m thrilled to be re-teaming with Focus Features after our journey on ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’. I am also happy that HBO Max will make sure Tony’s audience only continues to grow,” said director Morgan Neville, whose most recent features include the Oscar-winning “20 Feet from Stardom,” the Orson Welles doc “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” and the Mister Rogers portrait “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Bourdain is best remembered for his wily wit on the CNN original series “Parts Unknown,” which was honored throughout its 12-season run with 36 Emmy Award nominations and 12 wins. Bourdain also executive-produced the feature documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” which released in 2016. The upcoming documentary from Neville will feature unprecedented access to family photos, home movies, letters, music, and more, to craft a rich portrait of Bourdain.
“Morgan is the top of the game when it comes to documentary filmmaking and we’re delighted to be working with him again on this project with our great collaborators at CNN Films and HBO Max,” said Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski in a statement.
“We are thrilled that Morgan will bring his singular voice to this film, revealing what we loved so much about Tony. Partnering with Focus Features and HBO Max ensures even more of Tony’s devoted fans will be able to celebrate him,” added Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Films.
IndieWire has reached out to Tremolo Productions for comment.