Aretha Franklin Doc 'Amazing Grace' Picked Up by Neon

The film will get an Oscar-qualifying run, followed by an early 2019 release.

Amazing Grace, the concert documentary featuring the late superstar Aretha Franklin, has been picked up Neon in time for an awards play.

The distributor is planning an early 2019 theatrical release, following the film's Oscar-qualifying run in New York City and Los Angeles. 

Amazing Grace tracks Franklin's return to gospel music in 1972 with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in the Los Angeles neigborhood of Watts, when the legendary Queen of Soul was 29 years old and at the peak of her vocal powers. 

The doc went unreleased for over three decades as it was tied up in legal issues. Alan Elliott oversaw the continued production of the feature, which was blocked from screening at various points (including at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015) due to injunctions by the singer.

Franklin died in August at the age of 76, after which the singer's family and filmmakers came to an agreement.

Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and personal representative of the Aretha Franklin Estate, said in a statement: “Amazing Grace is the heart and soul of Aretha Franklin. This film is authentic and is my aunt to her core. Our family couldn't be more excited for audiences to experience the genius of her work and spirit through this film."

Elliott produced Amazing Grace alongside Joe Boyd, Chiemi Karasawa, Rob Johnson, Sabrina Owens, Tirrell D. Whittley, Jerry Wexler and Joseph Woolf. 

The deal was negotiated by Neon and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.