A major new documentary on Led Zeppelin was announced this week, with a premiere to happen at the Venice Film Festival.
Becoming Led Zeppelin promises to be the most in-depth look at one of the world's best-loved rock bands, offering rare and unseen footage as well as interview footage with all four members: singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones and archival interviews with drummer John Bonham (who died in 1980). It is the first time all parties in the band have cooperated with a documentary.
“With Becoming Led Zeppelin my goal was to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical," director Bernard MacMahon said in a statement. "I wanted to weave together the four diverse stories of the band members before and after they formed their group with large sections of their story advanced using only music and imagery and to contextualize the music with the locations where it was created and the world events that inspired it. I used only original prints and negatives, with over 70,000 frames of footage manually restored, and devised fantasia sequences...layering unseen performance footage with montages of posters, tickets and travel to create a visual sense of the freneticism of their early career.”
MacMahon and co-writer/producer Allison McGourty previously collaborated on American Epic, a multi-part documentary about the earliest music recordings in the United States. Becoming Led Zeppelin will premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival, running Sept. 1-9, 2021, with a wider release deal expected to be solidified afterward.