After six decades of performing as an international star, the life and work of Tina Turner are finally getting a documentary. HBO announced on Wednesday that it has set a release date for “Tina,” to date the most ambitious doc project about the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
“LA 92” and “Undefeated” directors Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin are leading this feature-length look at Turner’s lengthy career, which will be available on HBO and HBO Max next month on March 27. The project, first announced in early 2018, will feature interviews with Turner herself, in addition to little-seen archival footage.
Turner first rocketed to stardom in the 1960s and ’70s, performing alongside her then-husband Ike Turner. Off-stage, the partnership was violent, though the extent of the abuse wasn’t known until after the pair divorced and Tina began to speak publicly about her experiences.
“Tina” will prominently feature the period of her solo career resurgence in the 1980s, a new chapter of stardom that crossed over into the film world, too. (She had previously appeared in The Who’s 1975 film “Tommy” as The Acid Queen, but memorably co-starred in “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” for which she also provided the theme song “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome).”) Alongside the blockbuster appearances, the doc will also feature stories behind her bestselling 1984 album “Private Dancer” and the autobiography she would publish four years later.
This documentary, of course, is not the first time audiences will experience Tina Turner’s life on-screen. That autobiography “I, Tina” became the basis for the 1993 film “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” featuring acclaimed performances from Angela Bassett as Tina and Laurence Fishburne as Ike.
“Tina” is a production of Lightbox, which was also involved with “LA 92,” as well as “Project Nim” and another previous prominent music doc, the 2012 film “Searching for Sugar Man,” which went on to capture the Best Documentary Oscar (just one year after “Undefeated” did, incidentally). “Tina” joins a growing lineup of recent HBO documentaries, including “The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” the Frank Marshall-directed film that premiered on the network and on HBO Max at the end of 2020.