With successes like Carol and Far From Heaven, Todd Haynes has solidified himself as an indie filmmaking powerhouse. Now, the Academy Award-nominated director will try his hand at documentary filmmaking, per Variety. Haynes revealed at the Locarno Film Festival that he will be making a documentary about famed rock group The Velvet Underground, which he intends to be “an intensely visceral experience.”
This isn’t Haynes’ first time merging music and film; the project that landed him on the map was a pseudo-doc titled Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story that used Barbie dolls to chronicle the tragic life and death of Karen Carpenter. Haynes was sued by Karen’s brother, Richard, whom the film portrayed as unlikeable, on grounds that the music used in the film was not properly licensed. Universal Music Group was the parent company that owned The Carpenters’ catalogue; ironically, Haynes is now partnering with UMG to make the Velvet Underground doc. Talk about a full circle moment.
Haynes says the project will be “challenging” since the group was not documented frequently, and he looks forward to “the thrill of the research and visual assemblage” and “getting in deep to the resources and material and stock and archival footage and the actual cinema and experimental work.” He also intends to interview the surviving members of the band in order to create the most authentic and accurate finished product possible.
Haynes is also working on an Amazon series about “an intensely important figure of immense historical and cultural influence.” According to his IMDB page, that figure is the multitalented Peggy Lee, whom is rumored to be played by Reese Witherspoon. Both the Peggy Lee project and the Velvet Underground documentary are without release dates. Read our list of the top 20 Velvet Underground songs here.