Rihanna to star in Dylan-influenced documentary from Friday Night Lights director

Most people don’t recognize a lot of parallels between Rihanna and Bob Dylan, but apparently filmmaker Peter Berg (Friday Night LightsHancock) does. The director, who previously worked with the pop superstar on her blockbuster debut, 2012’s Battleship, has announced plans to create a contemporary version of Dylan’s famed 1967 rock doc Don’t Look Back, substituting Dylan’s world for that of the Caribbean crooner.

The new documentary will be among the first releases from Berg’s new company Film 45, and will offer fans what the filmmaker describes as an “unfiltered look into Rihanna’s life and how she’s ascended to become a global icon,” according to a recent interview with Deadline.

The high-profile music documentary joins a bevy of other non-fiction projects which are in the works at Film 45, including a pair of projects for HBO: The second season of sports-based series State of Play, and an upcoming boxing documentary about legendary promoter Bob Arum.

As far as business decisions go, the studio’s choice to film Rihanna at this point in her career makes sense. Her eighth studio album, Anti, hit store shelves earlier this year to massive success, with both the album and its lead single Work topping Billboard’s charts. The album has been streamed over 275 million times on Spotify alone, and is currently being fueled in popularity by a massive world tour — a perfect time to film any musical superstar.

Related: See the ANTI (Deluxe) version here

But despite having plenty of opportunity to catch the singer on stage, Berg says the film will be one that’s much more focused on the artist herself, rather than a concert documentary with brief interview footage.

He says the new documentary will be “much more of a character study than a music film” and that he is particularly interested in taking a deeper look at “a young artist at the top of her professional field.”

There’s no title for the film as yet, and a release date hasn’t been set, but fans can expect a finished production to hit screens sometime in the next year or two — a smart marketing tool to keep Rihanna’s name on their minds between albums.


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