Especially considering the soulful inspirations that drive his work with The Black Keys, it should come as no surprise that Dan Auerbach is a massive fan of the late Dr. John. It seemed only natural that Auerbach’s directorial debut would be a documentary about the jazz and blues legend, with whom Auerbach even had the honor of collaborating a few years ago. But the project, which was announced only last week, has already been met with backlash from Dr. John’s estate.
A statement issued by Dr. John’s estate claims that they hadn’t approved the making of the documentary, which was set to be released by the same company behind Questlove’s Summer of Soul. The film has yet to receive an official title or public release date.
“The Official Estate of Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., p/k/a Dr. John, clarifies that the Estate has not authorized the recently announced documentary on the life of Dr. John purportedly to be produced by Impact Artist Productions (and Management) and Radical Media,” reads the statement.
“For clarity, Impact Artist Productions (and Management) does not manage or speak for the Estate, which has its own team with, as Mac would say, a gang and a half of legalizers. The Estate thanks Mac’s fans for their support and assures that the Estate will ‘Walk On Guilded Splinters’ to deliver new music and an officially authorized documentary, to be announced In The Right Place at the right time.”
Auerbach produced Dr. John’s 2012 album, Locked Down. The latter died of a heart attack in June 2019. Stay tuned here for more updates about the documentary dispute as it unfolds.