Apple has acquired Beastie Boys Story, a documentary feature directed by Spike Jonze and penned by Jonze and the seminal rap group’s founding members Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz. As part of the deal, a special cut of the film a will open exclusively in select Imax theaters April 3 in a limited release before dropping on Apple TV+ on April 24.
The timing comes just ahead of the 26th anniversary of the release of Beastie Boys’ fourth album Ill Communication. Jonze directed the music video for the album’s hit “Sabotage.”
Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Yauch (aka MCA) were part of a New York punk band in the late 1970s. They eventually transitioned to rap after adding Horowitz (Ad-Rock) and hit big in 1986 with their debut album Licensed To Ill, setting the up to become one of rap’s most successful groups, winning three Grammys.
Yauch, who later would launch indie film distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories, died of cancer in 2012, the same year the group was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The film is billed as a live documentary experience that will focus on the history and legacy of the group and its intimate, personal story. The project grew out of Diamond and Horowitz’s collaboration on Beastie Boys Book, published in October 2018.
Jason Baum, Amanda Adelson and Jonze are producers of Beastie Boys Story, produced for Apple by Fresh Bread and Pulse Films in association with Polygram Entertainment. Diamond, Horovitz, Dechen Wangdu-Yauch, John Silva, John Cutcliffe, Peter Smith, Thomas Benski, Dan Bowen, Sam Bridger, Michele Anthony, David Blackman and Ashley Newton serving as executive producers.
Endeavor Content and CAA repped the Apple deal on behalf of the filmmakers.