Kevin Smith Says His Prince Documentary May Finally Be Released
Kevin Smith is hopeful that fans will soon see footage from his long-shelved Prince documentary.
The Clerks director was originally hired to film the Prince: A Celebration fan festival held in June 2001 at Paisley Park. He was also asked to interview fans about the religious themes on The Rainbow Children, the new Prince album which debuted at the event.
Smith has described their brief collaboration as both unusual and frustrating. "I spent an entire week shooting a documentary for which I wasn't paid, for which I had really no passion," he said during 2002's An Evening With Kevin Smith. "It was not my story – and the dude never once said, 'Thanks for taking the time.'"
Decades later, however, Smith says the chances of his film being released are now "very high. The director of OJ: Made in America is making a [Prince] documentary for Netflix, and he came to the house to interview me," Smith tells The Guardian. "When they went to the vaults after Prince died, they found so much unreleased music and so many music videos, but the only footage of him talking is what I shot."
Ava Duvernay was originally attached to the Netflix documentary, but the filmmaker announced in 2019 that she was leaving. Rumors that OJ: Made in America director Ezra Edelman had taken over for Duvernay have not been officially confirmed.
If used, Smith says his footage would show fans a different side of Prince. "It's extraordinary: He acts differently to how he ever acted in his entire life, and he talks for hours and hours," Smith adds. "It looks like it's finally going to see the light."
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