HBO Nabs Rights to Mick Jagger-Produced James Brown Documentary

'Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown' will debut on the network on Oct. 27
HBO
James Brown

HBO is remembering James Brown.

The network's documentary films arm has acquired the U.S. and Canadian TV rights to the feature-length documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, it was announced Thursday.

Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and produced by Mick Jagger, Mr. Dynamite will debut on Monday, Oct. 27 exclusively on HBO.

The documentary tells the story of Brown, who forever changed the face of American music, and his journey from rhythm and blues to funk. Made in cooperation with the Brown Estate, which recently opened its archives for the first time, the film features never-before-seen footage, interviews and photographs of the musician.

"Alex Gibney has brought his prodigious filmmaking talents to this portrait of the phenomenon known as James Brown," says HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. "Together with Mick Jagger and his incredible producing team, they have created a captivating portrait of an artist — both the musician and the man."

Jagger adds: "We spoke with the extraordinary people who knew James well and worked alongside him throughout his career. By hearing their fascinating stories and memories, we were able to paint the full picture of James as both a musical artist and social activist, whose legacy and impact on the music industry is ever-present."

Abandoned by his parents at a young age, Brown was a self-made man who became one of the most influential artists, through both his music and his social activism, of the 20th century. The film includes archival interviews with Brown himself, as well as modern-day interviews with Jagger, Rev. Al Sharpton, Maceo Parker, Clyde Stubblefield, Questlove, Melvin Parker, Chuck D, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, Martha High, Bootsy Collins and Fred Wesley.

"As a musician, ‘Mr. Dynamite’ was the essential funk pioneer, a hugely influential figure and one of the greatest live performers — ever," says Gibney. "Mick and his producing partner, Victoria Pearman, along with Peter Afterman from Inaudible and Blair Foster from Jigsaw, were wonderfully supportive and creative producers. We couldn’t be in better hands than with our friends at HBO."

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