BMG is releasing a new David Bowie movie titled Lunar Reverie, which he describes as “a new definitive portrait” of the late star.
The documentary, written, directed, edited and produced by filmmaker Brett Morgen, is David Bowie’s first film to be officially sanctioned by his estate.
BMG says the film, including its title track Lunar Reveriedraws heavily on Bowie’s catalog of songs from 1970 to 1977, in which BMG has a 25% stake.
BMG acquired its 25% stake in Bowie’s song catalog when it acquired independent publisher Chrysalis in 2010 for $168.6 million, a deal in which BMG also bought interests in songs by Michael Jackson and Blondie.
The company says its relationship with Bowie‘s catalog is “unaffected” by the recent acquisition of Bowie’s song catalog by Warner Music Group.
Warner acquired all Bowie song rights held by the Bowie Estate in January for more than $250 million. MBW understands that another rights holder, UK-based Bucks Music Group, retains part of the publisher’s share. WMG owns the writer’s share.
Bowie’s catalog includes hits like Changesstar man, Ziggy Stardust, Le Génie Jean, All The Young Guys, Life On Mars, Rebel Rebel, Fame, Young Americans and Golden years.
According to BMG, filmmaker Brett Morgen (The Child Stays in the Picture, Cobain: Montage of Heck, Jane) has “synthesized the music and art of David Bowie into a sublime kaleidoscopic experiential cinematic odyssey that explores Bowie’s creative, spiritual and philosophical journey”.
BMG says the film will feature never-before-seen footage, performances and music, and will be driven “exclusively by Bowie’s narration.”
Lunar Reverie features 47 musical tracks, mixed from their original roots, with Bowie’s collaborator and longtime friend Tony Visconti serving as the film’s score producer.
Lunar Reverie is the first film in a multi-picture deal between Brett Morgen and BMG for IMAX productions. The film will be released in IMAX in select markets.
BMG and co-production partner Live Nation Productions, the film’s executive and financial producers, have licensed US distribution rights to Neon while Universal Entertainment International will handle the film outside of the United States.
North American cable and broadcast rights were licensed to HBO and HBO Max.
The upcoming documentary marks BMG’s latest music-related film project.
BMG’s recent movies and TV projects include DIO: Dreamers never die, David Crosby: Remember my name, and the documentary Joan Jett, Bad reputation; Rudeboy: The Trojan Records Story; and echo in the canyon.
The company also recently teamed up with Pulse and Quickfire Films and Lewis Capaldi for its first feature-length documentary (BMG is the longtime music publisher of Capaldi’s songs).
Elsewhere, in March 2021, BMG signed a multifaceted global partnership with the Montreux Jazz Festival, which includes a three-part documentary series celebrating the history of the music festival.
Also in the world of movies, BMG entered into an exclusive long-term deal with Netflix in June 2021 to manage and administer the video-on-demand giant’s music publishing rights worldwide outside of the United States.
The deal saw BMG elected as the exclusive worldwide music partner for hit movies and TV shows created by Netflix, such as The Queen’s Gambit, La Couronne, Extraction, Stranger Thingsand Emily in Paris.
“BMG is proud to build on its long-standing relationship with the estate of David Bowie by working hand-in-hand with our partners Live Nation Productions to bring Brett Morgen’s vision to the big screen.”
Fred Casimir, BMG
BMG EVP Global Repertoire Fred Casimir, said, “It has been five years of loving labor to honor one of the greatest catalogs of songs in music history.
“BMG is proud to build on its long-standing relationship with the estate of David Bowie by working hand-in-hand with our partners Live Nation Productions to bring Brett Morgen’s vision to the big screen.”The music industry around the world