By Robyn Collins
It’s hard to believe that it has almost been twenty years since INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence died.
The compelling and emotional rocker will be the subject of a feature-length documentary produced by Universal Music Group and Passion Pictures, according to Billboard.
Australian filmmaker Richard Lowenstein, who worked with INXS for many years, including the well-remembered music video for “What You Need,” will be directing. “I have been working on the definitive documentary film journey into the heart and soul of this complex, shy, poetic and exceptionally charismatic man for many years,” he said in a statement. “To be able to embark on this film now with such great partners as UMG, UK’s Passion Pictures, Ghost Pictures, [longtime INXS manager] Chris [Murphy] and INXS is extremely exciting and I know that together we are going to tell this story like no one else can.”
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the Australian band INXS was one of the biggest rock bands in the world, with hits like as “The One Thing,” “Original Sin,” “What You Need,” “Need You Tonight” and “Never Tear Us Apart.” After years as the sexy frontman for the band, Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room in November 1997. His death was ruled a suicide.
The film is part of UMG’s expansion into film, which is already showing success with their Oscar-winning documentary feature film, Amy, Asif Kapadia’s 2015 doc about the life of Amy Winehouse.
In January, UMG tapped film producer David Blackman and Broadway producer Scott Landis to oversee development of its film, television and theatrical projects to include Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary, Eight Days A Week, out in September.
“Michael Hutchence was a musical genius who led one of the world’s biggest bands to global stardom, only to succumb to a tragic end,” said Blackman, UMG’s head of film and television development, in a statement. “We have assembled an incredible team that is committed to telling Michael’s story and providing the world with a portrait of a man who left behind an enduring musical and cultural legacy.”
John Battsek from Passion Pictures, producers of the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugarman, stresses having the benefit of those close to Hutchence is key. “To know we have access to everyone and everything required to make such a film and the full support of UMG just reaffirms to us all that we can tell this story in the truest and most authentic way possible.”
Hutchence’s 20-year old heir, Tiger Lily, his daughter with the late Paula Yates, will be among the beneficiaries for the film’s profits.
The documentary is expected to arrive in theaters at the end of 2017.