Netflix, Inc., in association with its Red Envelope Entertainment division, today announced it has acquired worldwide rights to produce and distribute a new documentary exploring and celebrating the life and career of the legendary recording artist and concert performer, Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends will be directed by Bruce Ricker (The Last of the Blue Devils, Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows), with Clint Eastwood serving as executive producer.
Tony Bennett is beloved as one of the premiere interpreters of the Great American Songbook. The new documentary will follow Bennett's more than 50 years in the music and entertainment industries against the backdrop of a changing America. Weaving seldom seen archival footage with never before seen excerpts of Bennett's recent premier performance at the Monterey Jazz festival -- highlighted by an on-camera interview conducted by Eastwood that explores the essence of Bennett's artistry -- the film will present an exceptional man in a rare way: a living legend through his life, times and music.
This cinematic portrayal of Tony Bennett caps a year-long celebration of a singer who celebrated his 80th birthday last August. Bennett's most recent chart topping CD, "Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic," has also reached another milestone for the singer, becoming the biggest selling album of his career. Duets was awarded three Grammy Awards last Sunday in the categories of "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album," "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals" and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)."
The documentary project was brought to Netflix and Red Envelope Entertainment by Danny Bennett, president of RPM Productions, on behalf of Tony Bennett and Clint Eastwood. Netflix is committed to providing consumers with access to the widest variety of films available and, in association with Red Envelope Entertainment, will fully finance the production. An innovative release plan will include DVD rental and sale, online and TV distribution, as well as an event-driven premiere and theatrical release this summer. The film is currently in production at locations around the country, including Astoria, Queens in New York City, where Bennett was born, as well as Hollywood, California.
"The coming together of Tony Bennett and Clint Eastwood -- two enduring and iconic figures in the world of American entertainment -- is a cultural flashpoint," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. "Netflix spearheading this prestigious project showcases our abilities to bring unique content to our subscribers and, in this case, a global audience."
"Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends is an historical record of an American icon," said director and producer Bruce Ricker. "We wanted the film to reach the widest audience possible and Netflix achieves that goal."
About Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett is an artist who moves the hearts and touches the souls of audiences. He's the singer's singer and has received high praise from his colleagues through the years, including Frank Sinatra, who stated unequivocally, "Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business." Bennett is an international treasure who was honored by the United Nations with their "Citizen of the World" award, which aptly describes the scope of his accomplishments. With over 50 million records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received fifteen Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. As the world's most boyish octogenarian, a vital musical artist at the peak of his powers, Tony Bennett is living proof that fairy tales can indeed come true when you're young at heart.
About Bruce Ricker and Clint Eastwood
Bruce Ricker is an accomplished director and producer. His credits include "The Last Blue Devils" and "Thelonious Monk Straight No Chaser." He has teamed up with Clint Eastwood on numerous productions such as "Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall" and "Clint Eastwood's Piano Blues."
Clint Eastwood is the consummate filmmaker. His career spans four decades and has touched generations of moviegoers. He is one of the most prolific, versatile artists in the history of the medium, involving himself first as an actor, then as a director and producer.