UPDATE: Apple+ has acquired the rights to director Todd Haynes’ long-in-the-works Velvet Underground documentary, the streaming service announced. The release date for the film, titled The Velvet Underground, has not yet been announced, but the documentary promises a “treasure trove” of never-before-seen live footage, Andy Warhol films, and interviews with band members and other key figures.
Todd Haynes announced at the Locarno Film Festival that one of his next projects would be a documentary based on the Velvet Underground.
The director’s announcement comes just months after the band’s debut The Velvet Underground & Nico celebrated its 50th anniversary.
“They’re the most influential of bands – as Brian Eno said, everybody who bought [Velvet Underground & Nico] started a band,” Haynes said while announcing the project (via Variety). “Their influence has nothing to do with sales or visibility or the ways we portion ideas of success.”
The as-yet-untitled documentary about Velvet Underground, who served as the house band at Andy Warhol’s Factory early in their career, will “rely certainly on Warhol films but also a rich culture of experimental film,” Haynes said.
In 1966, Warhol and filmmaker Paul Morrissey created The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound, which consisted of an hour-long rehearsal of the band’s original lineup of Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker, John Cale and Nico.
The director added that he hopes to interview the band’s surviving members for the documentary; singer Lou Reed died in 2013 and guitarist Sterling Morrison died in 1995.
Haynes has previously explored – in offbeat and non-traditional ways – the legend of music icons like Karen Carpenter, David Bowie and Bob Dylan in films like Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There, respectively, but the Velvet Underground film marks the first time Haynes examined a music figure within the documentary genre.
Haynes will make the Velvet Underground documentary alongside his longtime producer Christine Vachone as well as Universal Music Group.