Oscar-nominated director Todd Haynes announced today that he will team with Polygram Entertainment and Verve Label Group for The Velvet Underground, a feature documentary on about one of the most influential rock bands of all time.
Haynes, along with Christine Vachon, announced the news today with a first look video at Sir Lucian Grainge’s 2018 Artist Showcase. Haynes will direct and produce the documentary which will trace multiple threads leading to the band’s formation and their impact on music and global culture.
Fresh off of Wonderstruck, The Velvet Underground marks Haynes’ first documentary project. Through drama, though, Haynes has explored such music and literary legends as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Karen Carpenter, Jean Genet and Arthur Rimbaud.
Said Haynes of the project: “I couldn’t be more excited to be embarking on this project with the folks at Universal Music Group, a documentary—my first, in fact—about one of the most radical and influential rock bands in the world of music: The Velvet Underground.”
Danny Bennett, President and CEO of Verve Label Group, added, “Verve Records signed The Velvet Underground in the ’60s to expand and build upon its iconic jazz history and push the musical envelope, and without a doubt they have become one of the most influential bands of all time.”
He continues, “Their recordings not only challenged the status quo, they created a new generation of music that continues to be a major influence even today. It has been a dream of mine to produce the definitive documentary of The Velvet Underground and I’m humbled and proud to be part of this production. This ambitious, meaningful and engaging story could only be told by Todd Haynes and I’m thrilled for fans, in particular, new fans, to experience The Velvet Underground story within the context of the time period.”
“Once again, Polygram is bringing together great filmmakers and musical artists to tell unique and compelling stories,” said David Blackman, head of Polygram Entertainment. “Todd Haynes’ brilliance as a director and producer is closely matched by his love and passion for music. I can think of nobody better to pull together all of threads of The Velvet Underground story.”
A Killer Content and Motto Pictures Production, the film’s producers include Haynes, Vachon, Julie Goldman, Chris Clements, David Blackman for Polygram Entertainment, and executive producers Danny Bennett for Verve, and Carolyn Hepburn. The film has received the support of founding Velvet Underground member John Cale and Laurie Anderson, the artist and partner of the Velvet’s late Lou Reed.