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Just announced: Luther Vandross Documentary in the works

July 11th, 2023

Just announced via The Hollywood Reporter: A Luther Vandross Documentary is in the works!

Jamie Foxx, Colin Firth, Sony Music Producing Documentary on Legendary Singer Luther Vandross (Exclusive)

Award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter is directing, and production is underway. Vandross, who died in 2005, won eight Grammys and sold 40 million albums worldwide.

documentary about the life and career of legendary R&B singer Luther Vandross is in the works, with Jamie Foxx and Colin Firth serving as producers.

Sony Music Entertainment’s (SME) Premium Content Division, Sony Music Publishing, Foxx’s Foxxhole Productions and Firth’s Raindog Films have joined forces to produce the first-ever doc on the eight-time Grammy winner, who died in 2005 at age 54. Award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter is directing, and production is underway.

Vandross began his career as a backup singer for Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and David Bowie. He released his successful, double platinum debut album, Never Too Much, in 1981 and has sold 40 million albums worldwide. Most of his albums achieved platinum or double platinum status, and he scored five Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including “Here and Now,” “Endless Love” and “Power of Love/Love Power.” He earned 27 Top 10 hits on the R&B chart, including seven No.1s, and earned 33 Grammy nominations.

Vandross suffered a stroke in 2003 and famously missed the 2004 Grammy Awards, where he won four honors including song of the year for the touching ballad, “Dance With My Father.”

“Luther is one of our GOATs,” Foxx said in a statement. “He’s one of the greatest singers in the history of music. It is truly an honor to be a part of the team to help bring this incredible story to the masses.”

Jamie Foxx, Colin Firth, Dawn Porter

The documentary “will follow the iconic artist as he charted his own course becoming one of the most decorated and influential pop artists of all time” and “capture the intensely private Grammy-winning artist’s passion for music, global rise and personal struggles.” The film will include “access to his never-before-seen personal archive” and is being supported by his closest friends and family. Producers have partnered with Trilogy Films, the Estate of Luther Vandross and estate partner Primary Wave Music to create the doc.

“Like so many, I have always loved Luther’s music, but I had no idea of the breadth and scope of his artistry. I think people will be surprised at how much he accomplished in his tragically short life. It is a joy to be able to share his true story,” said Porter, whose credits include The Ladybird DiariesJohn Lewis: Good TroubleThe Way I See ItBobby Kennedy for President and Trapped.

The documentary announcement comes a month after award-winning filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s working on a Vandross biopic, based on Craig Seymour’s book, Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross.

Sony Music Entertainment’s Premium Content group is distributing the upcoming documentary. The idea for the project was originated by Trish D Chetty and Ged Doherty, and alongside Firth, they serve as producers for Raindog Films. Foxx and Datari Turner serve as producers for Foxxhole Productions. Leah Smith serves as producer for Trilogy Films. Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman are executive producers for Sony Non-Fiction Television. Tom Mackay and Richard Story join as executive producers for Sony Music Entertainment. Jon Platt and Brian Monaco serve as executive producers for Sony Music Publishing. Phil Thornton serves as an executive producer.  Larry Mestel and Natalia Nastaskin serve as executive producers on behalf of estate partner Primary Wave Music.

Krista Wegener of Sony Music Entertainment’s Premium Content team will lead global sales for the film.