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Apple TV+ snaps up Todd Haynes’ feature doc “The Velvet Underground”

Subscription streaming service, Apple TV+ has landed the worldwide distribution rights to Academy Award-nominated director Todd Haynes’ feature documentary The Velvet Underground, about the seminal avant-garde rock band. The Apple Original film ...
October 22, 2020

Subscription streaming service, Apple TV+ has landed the worldwide distribution rights to Academy Award-nominated director Todd Haynes’ feature documentary The Velvet Underground, about the seminal avant-garde rock band.

The Apple Original film will chronicle how the band, led by Lou Reed, became a cultural touchstone. Founded in New York in 1964, the group achieved little commercial success during its existence, but is now considered to be one of the most influential bands of all time, particularly in the development of the punk rock and new wave genres.

The band, in its “classic” line-up, consisted of vocalist and guitarist Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, drummer Moe Tucker (who replaced original drummer Angus MacLise in 1965), and vocalist Nico, and was briefly managed by the pop artist Andy Warhol, serving as the house band at the Factory. The Yule brothers, Billy and Doug, joined as the rhythm section for the band in later years.

Featured throughout the documentary will be in-depth interviews, “a treasure trove of never before seen performances”, studio recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art that emphasizes what Cale describes as the band’s creative ethos: “How to be elegant and how to be brutal.” 

The Velvet Underground is produced by Polygram Entertainment in association with Federal Films, Motto Pictures and Killer Films. 

The film is produced by Christine Vachon, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn and David Blackman. Haynes directs and serves as producer.

The Velvet Underground joins an Apple Originals documentary slate that now includes Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’ Boys State, Bryce Dallas Howard’s Dads, Spike Jonze’s Beastie Boys Story and Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s The Elephant Queen.

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