The last time Ozzy Osbourne hit the screen, it was as the perpetual punchline on The Osbournes, the MTV series that lasted four seasons and made Ozzy and his family the finest and funniest televised counterpoint to the Waltons of all time. But now Ozzy’s son Jack is trying to repair the damage he thinks the show did to his father’s reputation by gathering some friends and executive producing his own Ozzy documentary.
According to Jack, his father — a severe dyslexic — “refuses to do a book, so this is more like a talking book, a really thorough autobiography.” Filming began in January, and features interviews with all the principal members of Black Sabbath, the various incarnations of Ozzy’s solo band, family and friends. But the trick, Jack says, is getting them to be truthful. “The hard thing is getting people to be honest and not have it be a fluff piece, because that’s not what we’re trying to do,” he said. “I’m trying to paint a realistic picture of who my father is. I think The Osbournes, to a degree, tarnished the public’s perception of my dad as a bit of a senile, funny, bumbling guy. Yeah, my dad can be that guy, but it’s not him. I think that almost discredited who he is as an artist. My dad’s not an idiot — he’s nothing short of a genius, in my opinion. He does have huge flaws, and we’re trying to really paint an honest picture of that.”
The film’s production schedule is open-ended, and Jack hopes to be able to preview segments at next year’s Ozzfest — in whichever incarnation Ozzfest appears. “Next year at Ozzfest we’re talking about doing a traveling museum,” he said. “It’s something we were talking about after the show, having a museum at the gig where fans can go in and look at old photos and old memorabilia, and at the end of it, it would have a five-minute clip of the doc just to start to get it out there. I think it’s very dependent on what other tours are going out next summer. I think because of the success of the Texas show, it’s almost like, ‘Why bother doing a massive tour again?'”
In addition to the film about his father (initially titled John, which is Ozzy’s given name), Jack is filming the fourth season of his outdoor adventure show Adrenaline Junkie and producing a documentary about volunteer EMT technicians in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.