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New Led Zeppelin Documentary to Receive Theatrical Release

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Becoming Led Zeppelin, the long-awaited documentary about the rock legends, has been picked up for a theatrical release by Sony Classics Pictures.

Previously, a rough cut of the documentary was screened at Venice Film Festival in September 2021, but few updates were provided on the film’s status in the years since.

Per Variety, Sony Classics negotiated the deal with director Bernard MacMahon and Altitude Film Sales. The rights apply to North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia (sans Japan), the Middle East, and Benelux, though a timetable for the theatrical rollout has yet to be provided.

The “work in progress” version that was screened in Venice has now been “completed” with a new sound mix and additional footage including “newly unearthed material from the archives of all four band members.”

The only interview subjects in the film are Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones. The documentary also features archived interviews with late drummer John Bonham.

“We have spent years designing this film to be experienced on the big screen with the best possible sound,” McMahon said in a press statement regarding the long wait for the doc’s release.

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Added producer/co-writer Allison McGourty: “Sony Pictures Classics are the perfect partners because they are true believers in the theatrical experience and are passionate about giving the millions of Led Zeppelin fans a chance to see and hear them on the greatest screens and sound systems in the world.”

Led Zeppelin fan sites have been following progress on the documentary for years now. Despite the lack of official news on the project, it was discovered in March [via LedZepNews] that the filmmakers had acquired rights to use footage from a Bath Festival performance filmed in June 1970, proving that work on the documentary was still continuing.

The film was first announced in 2019. Rather than focus on the band’s entire career, Becoming Led Zeppelin is true to its title, following the early lives of the four band members and the formation of the group up through the release of Led Zeppelin II. Sony Classics is calling it a “hybrid docu-concert film” with performance footage from the Fillmore West, the Atlanta Pop Festival, and the Texas Pop Festival, all from 1969, and presumably the 1970 Bath Festival.

Below you can view the 2021 teaser trailer for the Venice Film Festival.

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