Ol’ Dirty Bastard is getting the documentary treatment.
On Thursday, A&E announced it has green-lit a full-length film that chronicles the late rapper’s life and career. The project marks the first documentary made in association with ODB’s estate. It will include interviews with the artist’s family and closest friends, as well as never-before-seen personal archival footage from his wife, Icelene Jones.
The two-hour documentary, tentatively titled Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard, will be co-directed by award-winning filmmaker Sam Pollard (Black Art: In The Absence of Light) and his son Jason Pollard (Get Me Roger Stone and Bitchin: The Sound and Fury of Rick James). The ODB estate will produce the film alongside Pulse Films (AppleTV+’s Beastie Boys Story, Beyonce’s Lemonade and Katy Perry’s Part of Me) and Four Screens.
“I am thrilled to tell the full story of my husband. With this documentary the world will learn about the son, the husband, the father, and the artist,” Jones said in a statement. “I’m proud of the team that we built, including Pulse, my producing partners Nicole Beckett and Messiah Jacobs at Four Screens, and our directing team, the Pollards.”
The documentary will focus on ODB’s life and solo career—exploring everything from his Brooklyn upbringing and time with the Wu-Tang Clan to his adult family life and his fatal overdose in 2004.
“At Pulse Films we are passionate about making music documentaries that tell intimate, and unique stories about the world’s most iconic artists,” said Sam Bridger, Executive Producer for Pulse Films. “ODB completely redefined what it meant to be an MC. A genius who lived and breathed his art. We are thrilled to have Sam and Jason Pollard on board, who are the perfect filmmakers to tell this amazing story for the first time. There will never be anyone quite like ODB and we are so grateful to his family and friends for inviting us into his world.”
Meanwhile, an ODB biopic has reportedly been in the works for several years. Fellow Wu-Tang member RZA provided a quick update on the project back in November, saying the film was part of his multi-year Wu-Tang plan.
“The documentary was to capture the story as best we can in the reality of it, and then the TV series was to dramatize it,” RZA told MIC. “The third tier of the plan, which I’m in progress of, is an ODB movie biopic. Like the five-year Wu-Tang plan, this was a five-year media plan that I concocted, I meditated on, and I’m striving to live out. So far, it’s working well.”
The A&E documentary is scheduled to premiere in 2023.