Apple announced Friday that it will release a new Werner Herzog documentary, “Fireball,” on its Apple TV+ platform. The film explores how shooting stars, meteorites, and deep impacts on Earth have shaped human mythology and focused our attention on other realms and worlds.
“Fireball” will mark the third collaboration between the legendary director and geoscientist Clive Oppenheimer, who is co-directing the doc.
Oppenheimer, a professor of volcanology at the University of Cambridge, appeared in Herzog’s 2007 Antarctica-set Oscar-nominated “Encounters at the End of the World,” and again in Netflix’s 2016 doc “Into the Inferno.” That most recent film earned an Emmy nomination and followed the pair as they traveled the world to explore various volcanic sites. Much like “Fireball,” that film also drew connections between natural phenomena and its impact on humankind.
“Fireball” will also reunite Herzog with “Inferno” producers André Singer and Lucki Stipetić. Werner Herzog Film is producing alongside Spring Films, Richard Melman is executive producer, and the film is being made with support from Sandbox Films.
Variety described “Fireball” as offering a similar style as Herzog and Oppenheimer’s work in “Inferno”: “They will once more go globe-trotting, this time to visit sites that yield insight into comets and meteorites and help them understand what they can tell us about the origins of life on Earth.”
The German director’s most recent film, “Nomad,” explores his bond with travel writer Bruce Chatwin, who passed away in 1989 after privately fighting HIV for five years. After being screened at Tribeca last year, it was released by Music Box Films this year.
He also recently appeared in several episodes of Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” as a villainous character who hires the eponymous bounty hunter to bring him Baby Yoda.
Herzog, known for his films that embrace obsessive quests, received the American Society of Cinematographers’ Board of Governors Award in January. One of the most influential figures in New German Cinema, Herzog has produced, written, and directed more than 70 films.
His other recent films include “Meeting Gorbachev,” in which Herzog sat down with the former president of the Soviet Union to discuss his achievements and global events in the 21st century, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” a 3D documentary about the Chauvet Cave in southern France, and “Queen of the Desert,” a biopic about pioneering British explorer Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) at the dawn of the 20th century.
This latest acquisition for Apple continues to prove its strategy in its first year in Hollywood that betting big names, big budgets, and prestige films will help keep users satisfied.