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NEW YORK – Tony Bennett documentary The Zen of Bennett is headed to Netflix, according to the singer’s son and manager Danny Bennett.
The film, which Danny Bennett directed and just finished, uses footage from 150 hours of recordings made during the studio sessions for his father’s “Duets II” album with other music stars, such as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Michael Buble and more.
In terms of getting the production out, Bennett said “we are doing an exclusive with Netflix” that fits in with the video streaming firm’s continued push into original content. He added that the film will also premiere at two major film festivals this year, but he didn’t want to share specifics yet. A limited theatrical release is also possible, with a DVD release likely to come in fall.
“We are in the early stages, but I am really into the idea of a broadcast window with Netflix” by the summer, he said. “They are a great partner. They are really forward-thinking. Now they are at the forefront of streaming. Access, access, access. That’s what we want.”
A Netflix spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.
The film was shot in the context of the making of “Duets II,” but “my vision was not a ‘making of’,” Danny Bennett told THR. “It really is Tony talking first-person about philosophies about family, art, music and how he has survived 60 years in this business – and no end in sight. And you will see the recording with Amy [Winehouse] and his discussions with her about her troubles.”
The film will particularly shed light on music star Bennett and his approach to life and work. “In the film, he says when I get older, I want to prove to people that I get better,” Danny Bennett cited an example. “And I said: You are 85. What Do you mean when you get older? And he got mad at me. That’s his attitude. He is ageless.”
Bennett also shared some details about his father’s next Duets album, which will focus on Spanish-language artists and record in May. Originally the father-son duo thought about doing a handful of collaborations with Latin artists for a Latin edition of last year’s “Duets II.” But with 27 artists interested, they decided to make it a separate release planned for the fourth quarter.
Bennett said he is hoping for a TV special on Univision tied to the release. Among the partners that his father will sing with are Ricky Martin and Vicente from Mexico.
The first Duets included a song with Juanes, which led to the sale of 60,000 units in Colombia alone, Bennett said. “Duets II” featured a collaboration with Alejandro Sanz.
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