The extraordinary life of chef, writer, and television host Anthony Bourdain will be the subject of an upcoming documentary from Focus Features, CNN Films, and HBO Max. Focus Features, which announced the news on Friday, will release the documentary in theaters first; the film will be available via TV (on CNN) and streaming (on HBO Max) afterward.
Morgan Neville, whose 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom won an Academy Award, will direct and produce the film. “Anthony Bourdain did more to help us understand each other than just about anyone in the history of television. He connected with people not in spite of his flaws, but because of them,” Neville, whose work also includes David Chang’s Ugly Delicious and the Mister Rogers biopic Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, said in a statement. “To have the opportunity to tell his story is humbling.”
Per Focus Features, Lydia Tenaglia and Christopher Collins of Zero Point Zero — the production company behind Bourdain shows like Parts Unknown and No Reservations — will be consulting producers for the film, alongside Bourdain’s agent and literary executor, Kimberly Witherspoon. Bourdain’s estate will provide access to materials such as family photos, home movies, letters, and music.
CNN, home to Parts Unknown, first announced a feature-length documentary about the late chef in August 2018, two months after Bourdain died by suicide while filming an episode of Parts Unknown in France. Bourdain, a charismatic and influential figure beloved by fans and fellow chefs around the world, has been memorialized since his death through multiple books, a biography in the works, a Culinary Institute of America scholarship, and an annual “Bourdain Day,” among other tributes.