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Martin Scorsese Returning to 1970s Music Scene With New Doc for Imagine Entertainment

Though details remain unknown, the unscripted Scorsese project is one of nearly 20 films and TV series unveiled by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

"Rolling Thunder Revue"

Martin Scorsese’s “Rolling Thunder Revue”


Among the nearly 20 documentary films and TV series projects shared with Variety by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, one stands out: Martin Scorsese has a new music documentary in the kiln.

Imagine Docs, which is the entertainment company’s nonfiction unit, said that the documentary will mark a return to familiar territory for “The Irishman” director Scorsese — specifically the 1970s music scene. Scorsese is no stranger to this world, as his 2019 Netflix documentary “Rolling Thunder Revue” explored a legendary 1975 Bob Dylan tour through the eyes and ears of the period. Scorsese’s prior music documentaries include “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” “No Direction Home,” and “The Last Waltz.” In terms of fiction projects revolving around this turbulent era of music, Scorsese and Mick Jagger were among the co-creators of HBO’s one-season wonder, “Vinyl,” which starred Bobby Cannavale (who stars in “Irishman”) as a decadent ’70s record executive.

Plot details for the upcoming Scorsese documentary remain under wraps, but Imagine is reportedly negotiating with a distributor. Imagine’s potential distributors for its docs slate include such high-profile streamers as Netflix, Showtime, and Apple TV+ — the latter with which Imagine Docs currently has a first-look deal.

Also notable among the Imagine Docs slate is a feature film about celebrity chef José Andrés, to be directed by Ron Howard, with a focus on his restaurant propriety as well as his reputation as a first responder to impoverished, undernourished communities around the world. Howard found success in documentary earlier this year with “Pavarotti,” a profile of opera giant Luciano Pavarotti, which earned more than $6 million stateside.

Netflix has already picked up two series from Imagine Docs. One is another documentary horror story from “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” creator and “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” director Joe Berlinger. Another Imagine series headed to Netflix is billed as “‘Friday Night Lights’ in an outer borough,” from director Rudy Valdez (2018’s Emmy-winning “The Sentence”) and producer Amy Berg (Oscar-nominated for the Catholic Church sex abuse documentary “Deliver Us From Evil”). The series follows a football league in the deadly neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Previously announced from Imagine Docs is a serial examination of LSD poster boy Timothy Leary, from producer Leonardo DiCaprio.

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