Dan Auerbach will make his big-screen debut with a documentary on the late Dr. John, RadicalMedia announced on Monday. The yet-untitled film will focus on the life and music of the iconic New Orleans pianist born Mac Rebannack.
This announcement comes as the culmination of a years-long friendship between Black Keys guitarist and Dr. John, who shared a musical history together prior to the latter’s death of a heart attack in 2019. Auerbach served as producer of Dr. John’s 2012 album Locked Down, just as the guitarist’s production talents were beginning to garner attention from mainstream artists. Three years later, Auerbach invited the Doctor to play on a 10″ vinyl release by his side project The Arcs, The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. 1, which also featured David Hidalgo (Los Lobos).
In a press release, Auerbach called Dr. John a “shining example of the great melting pot of American music.”
“From his mysterious voodoo stage persona Dr. John, to his real, humble self Mac Rebannack—the street poet, the family man, the junkie, the Grammy award winner and all that’s in between—this documentary will introduce the world to him in a way they haven’t seen him before,” Auerbach said. “I’m still learning bits about him that I never knew, and I hope the movie provides a lens into the story of the life of Dr. John.”
The film, which has no release date yet, comes from the same studio behind Questlove‘s recent documentary, Summer Of Soul, available now on Hulu. As with The Roots drummer’s film on the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, RadicalMedia stands behind a first-time director as he explores the possibility of a new medium.
“We know his talents will transcend the ability to now tell an amazing story as he actually worked with and knew Mac extremely well,” said Jon Kamen, the chairman and CEO of RadicalMedia. “We’re here to help (Auerbach) shape this story. We’re here to help support it the same way we did on Questlove’s ‘Summer of Soul.’ We’ve done this before, and we’ll do it again without any trepidations. We have the confidence that with the right team around an artist like Dan, you can do wonderful things. I’m sure this will be an amazing story as well.”
[H/T Associated Press]