Music | November 20, 2021 4:13 pm

What Can We Expect From a Forthcoming David Bowie Documentary?

This isn't director Brett Morgen's first high-profile rock documentary

David Bowie, 1973
Pop singer David Bowie prepares to do some mileage with British Rail.
Smith/Express/Getty Images

The long career of David Bowie includes a number of high points, both on record and on the screen. And a forthcoming documentary might well see those two strains of his life converge, albeit posthumously. Writing at Ultimate Classic Rock, Jen Austin has details on an untitled project that’s attracting some pre-release buzz. Why? Director Brett Morgen has had access to a host of previously-unreleased footage of Bowie — and he’s been working on this project for the last four years.

If Morgen’s name sounds familiar, it’s because his previous documentary also focused on an iconic musician. That would be the 2015 film Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck — which also utilized a substantial amount of rare footage of its subject.

Like the forthcoming Bowie film, Morgen’s documentary about Cobain was made with the support of his estate. But having that level of access can also have its benefits. Writing about Montage of Heck for, critic Brian Tallerico praised the film. “It’s almost as remarkable for what it’s not as for what it is. It is not hagiography,” he wrote. And from there, he went on to applaud the specifics of Morgen’s approach. “It is more intimate, more emotional, and more personal than either of those easy extremes. It is a true peek into the life of a private superstar.”

If Morgen’s approach to a Bowie documentary is anything like his approach to his film about Cobain, the resulting project could be very special indeed. A title and release date have yet to be announced — though it seems likely that we’ll know more about soon enough.