A Documentary About Anthony Bourdain’s Life Is Currently in the Works

updated Oct 28, 2019
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Credit: Image Courtesy of CNN Film

It barely seems like the food world has recovered from the death of Anthony Bourdain in 2018. But, incredibly, it’s been a year-and-a-half since his death, and the food television world has moved forward — although not without comparing every new television show that romps around the globe to his. For those who want one last glimpse of why Bourdain managed to make such captivating, mouth-watering, and ultimately watchable television, though, CNN Films, HBO Max, and Focus Features have announced that they will be partnering on a documentary about Bourdain’s life.

While it might be first instinct for Bourdain superfans to worry about the portrayal of the star, this documentary seems to be in great hands. His co-workers from Zero Point Zero productions, Lydia Tenaglia and Christopher Collins, with whom he made nearly every episode of television he ever filmed, will be serving as consulting producers. And his longtime agent and literary executor, Kimberly Witherspoon, will be as well. The directing responsibilities go to Morgan Neville, who also made Won’t You Be My Neighbor? about Mr. Rogers with Focus Features. 

“Having worked with Anthony Bourdain for close to 20 years, Chris Collins and I felt very protective over the story of his life and the decision on who to direct it,” said Tenaglia. “In Morgan Neville’s hands, we are sure to get a nuanced portrait of the complex, wildly creative man we knew.”

Additionally, the documentary will have access to family photos, home movies, letters, music, and more from Bourdain’s personal life. While the star spoke and wrote extensively about his adult life, his shows gave only brief glimpses into his childhood, and the documentary seems poised to offer more of that. 

There has not been a release date announced yet, but it will play in theaters, then premiere on CNN before moving to streaming on HBO Max.