Neon Buys Aretha Franklin Documentary 'Amazing Grace'
Neon said it's planning an early 2019 theatrical release.
The film was shot in 1972 by Sydney Pollack at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. It was originally planned by Warner Bros. Pictures as a companion documentary to the double live album "Amazing Grace," but was prevented due to technical issues.
Franklin went to court to prevent the release of the film, but after her passing earlier this year, the film is being released with permission by her estate.
The movie includes many of Franklin's recordings, including an 11-minute version of "Amazing Grace," "Mary Don't You Weep," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "Precious Memories," Carole King's "You've Got a Friend," and Marvin Gaye's "Wholy Holy."
Producer Alan Elliott acquired the movie rights in 2007. He worked alongside a team of producers, including Joe Boyd, Robert Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Sabrina Owens, Jerry Wexler, Tirrell D. Whittley, and Joseph Woolf.
Sabrina Owens, Franklin's niece and personal representative of the Aretha Franklin estate, said, "'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."
Read more on Variety.
18-time GRAMMY winner Franklin is best known for her songs "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think", which led to her taking on the unofficial title of "The Queen of Soul" by the late '60s. But the iconic singer started out singing gospel as a child at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church.