A biographical documentary chronicling recent history of the groundbreaking funk-rock band known as Sly & The Family Stone will arrive at some point in 2019.
The film has reportedly been in development for a decade at this point, with director Brady Spensor having spent the last 10 years piecing together the personal and financial downfalls of principal member Sly Stone as well as other members leading up to a turn of fates with the legalization of the Music Modernization Act in October 2018.
According to the report, the documentary will include new footage of Stone and artists who were influenced by the band’s music, in addition to exclusive interviews with band members. The film’s story arc will start with uncovering the “series of legal and financial problems” which forced Stone to live out of a camper in Los Angeles before transitioning into how new streaming royalty laws have given the 75-year-old musician and songwriter a second chance on cashing in on his life work. Stone had actually sued his former managers back in 2010, claiming they’d cheated him out of royalty payments from 1989-2009. He was initially awarded $5 million in damages in 2015, but the court decision was overturned.
“It took months before Sly even remembered my name,” Spensor commented about initially being introduced to the famous musician by his son and pitching him the idea on the doc over the phone. “But soon after, I would get called at all hours, day or night. This was at a time in his life when things were really difficult for Sly. I became his friend at his most down and out, most financially broke and feel incredibly grateful for Sly’s trust and participation allowing me to document the end of a tragic spiral, then the transition and the outcome of Sly winning a significant lawsuit that may have influenced The Music Modernization Act.”
Stone also commented on staying, “When I was big enough to reach the piano, I thought that everybody had to do it in the world. This documentary is a chance to share my story with all the wide-eyed dreamers.”
The film has yet to receive an official title or release date, but it does have the backing of Winter State Entertainment, which is also behind another forthcoming film about the Vans Warped Tour.
“This production has been more than a decade in the making and seeing it all coming together is a dream come true,” Spensor continued. “The time we spent together was treasured and any opportunity to be around Sly was exceptional, and I wouldn’t pass it up for anything.”