Owen Wilson and Michael Keaton to Star in Cult-Themed Episode of IFC's DOCUMENTARY NOW
IFC today announced that Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Owen Wilson (Zoolander) will star alongside Necar Zadegan (Here and Now) in an upcoming two-part episode of Documentary Now!, the Emmy(R)-nominated comedy known for lovingly paying homage to the world of documentaries. The episode titled, "Batsh*t Valley," will headline Season 52's seven-episode lineup, with both parts premiering back-to-back on Wednesday February 20 at 10PM. DOCUMENTARY NOW! is co-created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Rhys Thomas and executive produced by Lorne Michaels.
"After years of trying to start a cult of our own, we have happily outsourced the heavy lifting to the brilliant team behind DOCUMENTARY NOW! and they have, as always, delivered," said IFC Original Programming SVP Christine Lubrano. "Seeing these episodes have caused the IFC staff to zealously follow the teachings of Owen Wilson."
Inspired by the Emmy(R)-winning documentary series Wild Wild Country and 2012's feature documentary The Source Family, which both follow counter-cultural, controversial utopian societies that garnered mass followers in the '70s and '80s, "Batsh*t Valley" follows Father Ra-Shawbard (Wilson), a self-proclaimed spiritual leader who, with the help of his loyal and strong-willed assistant Ra-Sharir (Zadegan), creates a commune of devoted followers in the small town of Chinook, Oregon in the 1980s. When the activities of the Shawbardite commune become public, FBI agent Bill Doss (Keaton) takes it upon himself to reveal the truth about their peculiar leader. "Batsh* Valley" is directed by Alex Buono and written by Meyers.
The new title joins the previously announced episodes:
"Waiting for the Artist," starring two-time Academy Award(R)-winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Carol), draws inspiration from the 2012 documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. The episode follows acclaimed performance artist Izabella Barta (Blanchett) as she prepares for a major career retrospective, while reconciling her relationship with her former lover Dimo (Armisen) - an infamous provocateur of the art world. "Waiting for the Artist" is written by Meyers.
"Original Cast Album: Co-op" is inspired by Original Cast Album: Company, the 1970 D.A. Pennebaker documentary that follows the strenuous overnight cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's hit musical. The episode follows producers Benedict Juniper (Taran Killam, Saturday Night Live), Simon Sawyer (John Mulaney, Big Mouth) and Howard Pine (James Urbaniak, Difficult People) overseeing the recording for the cast album of the musical Co-op. The star-studded cast of Co-op includes Kenny (Alex Brightman, Broadway's School of Rock), Larry (Richard Kind, Red Oaks), Patty (Paula Pell, A.P. Bio), and Dee Dee (Renee Elise Goldsberry, Broadway's Hamilton). "Original Cast Album: Co-op" is written by John MULANEY and Meyers.
"Long Gone" pays homage to Bruce Weber's 1988 documentary Let's Get Lost, which traces the tumultuous life and career of American jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. Shot on location in Budapest, Hungary, "Long Gone" tells the LIFE STORY of jazz musician Rex Logan (Armisen) and features those who were most influenced by him, including his girlfriend and vocalist Carla Meola (Natasha Lyonne, Orange is the New Black). "Long Gone" is written by Erik Kenward.
"Any Given Saturday Afternoon," inspired by the 2006 professional bowling documentary League of Ordinary Gentlemen, follows the new maverick head of marketing for the Professional Bowling League, Rob Seger (Kevin Dunn, Veep), through a season on the pro-bowling circuit with top bowlers Billy May Dempsey (Michael C. Hall, Dexter), Rick Kenmore (Tim Robinson, Detroiters) and Larry Hawburger (Bobby Moynihan, Saturday Night Live). "Any Given Saturday Afternoon" is written by Zach Kanin & Robinson.
The twice Emmy(R)-nominated DOCUMENTARY NOW! debuted to rave reviews from critics and quickly became a fan favorite thanks to its insightful take on some of the most well-known documentary films. Each episode, hosted by Dame Helen Mirren, takes viewers back in time to honor groundbreaking documentaries. Guest stars from previous seasons include Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Maya Rudolph, John Slattery and more.
In addition to Armisen, Hader, Meyers, Thomas and Michaels, DOCUMENTARY NOW! is also executive produced by Buono and Broadway Video's Andrew Singer. SNL's Thomas and Buono serve as the show's directors. MULANEY and Kenward return as consulting producers, with Alice Mathias serving as co-executive producer and David Cress, Matt Pacult and Tamsin Rawady serving as producers.
IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Series Brockmire, Stan Against Evil, Baroness von Sketch Show and DOCUMENTARY NOW! air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.
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