It was announced recently that Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys is directing an upcoming documentary about the late New Orleans music legend Dr. John. That seems like a natural fit, given that Auerbach produced John’s final album of original material, 2012’s Locked Down. However, John’s estate isn’t on board, as they shared a statement declaring that the currently untitled film is unauthorized by them.
The statement reads (via Stereogum):
“The Official Estate of Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., p/k/a Dr. John, clarifies that the Estate has not authorized the recently announced documentary on the life of Dr. John purportedly to be produced by Impact Artist Productions (and Management) and Radical Media. For clarity, Impact Artist Productions (and Management) does not manage or speak for the Estate, which has its own team with, as Mac would say, a gang and a half of legalizers. The Estate thanks Mac’s fans for their support and assures that the Estate will ‘Walk On Guilded Splinters’ to deliver new music and an officially authorized documentary, to be announced In The Right Place at the right time.”
Auerbach previously said of the project, “I’m thrilled to be partnering with RadicalMedia and Impact Artist Productions to try my hand at directing a documentary feature for the first time and I’m honored to have the subject be my friend Dr John. He was such a unique individual and a shining example of the great melting pot of American music. From his mysterious voodoo stage persona Dr John, to his real, humble self Mac Rebannack — the street poet, the family man, the junkie, the Grammy award winner and all that’s in between, this documentary will introduce the world to him in a way they haven’t seen him before. I’m still learning bits about him that I never knew, and I hope the movie provides a lens into the story of the life of Dr. John.”