Ava DuVernay is prepping a documentary series on the life and music of pop icon Prince for Netflix.
The untitled multi-part series is receiving the full cooperation of the late musician’s estate, so it will have access to archival footage and photos, music and interviews, according to Variety. Additionally, DuVarney has reportedly recently visited Prince’s Paisley Park home and recording studios outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
For DuVarney, the project is a bit of a return to her roots. The filmmaker got her start as a filmmaker with This Is The Life (2008), which chronicled the Los Angeles alternative hip-hop scene in the 1990s, before moving on to features like Selma and A Wrinkle in Time. She also directed the Netflix prison system documentary 13th, which received an Academy Award nomination. Additionally, she has the limited series The Central Park Five, premiering on the streaming service next year.
As DuVarney tweeted about the project last night –
“Prince was a genius, a joy and a jolt to the senses. He was like no other. He shattered preconceived notions, smashed boundaries, and shared his heart through his music. The only way I know how to make this film is with love and great care. I’m honored to do so and grateful.” https://t.co/fNsISCwtzg
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 30, 2018
Projects like this really highlight the advantage that a streaming service like Netflix gives to filmmakers. This will obviously be something longer than the length of your standard documentary. But the traditional networks have little use for something that would essentially be what they would have considered a mini-series, back when networks were interested in doing mini-series. The only other outlet I could possibly see being interested in a project like this would be a cable outlet like Starz or HBO. (See HBO’s The Jinx docu-series from 2015) And given Prince’s wide body of work, to have the flexibility in the amount of time to tell his story is important.