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Cannes 2012: Morgan Freeman-Narrated "BB King: The Life Of Riley" Sold To UK's G2 For Fall Release

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 21, 2012 9:56 AM
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BB King

It's not the B.B. King feature film that Wendell Pierce is attached to star in (B.B. King And I), but we'll take it for now.

First announced at the Berlinale in February, GFM Films' feature-length blues documentary BB King: The Life Of Riley, has been sold to a UK distributor G2, for a fall theatrical release. 

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the doc's interviewees include Bono, Bruce Willis, and Eric Clapton, as well as footage of King jamming with President Obama just 2 months ago.

Director Jon Brewer, who has worked closely with King, shot more than 200 hours of footage for the project, and had this to say in an interview with Guitarist magazine (the December issue): "B.B. is still giving everything to it, and he has a big history…It was an absolute privilege to be asked to make this film – it’s B.B. King’s life... One aspect tops all others. There’s this little boy who loved going to school, didn’t so much love going to church, but so respected his mother and did what his mother told him. And suddenly she was fading; he saw his mother die, that then led to how he relied upon his grandmother and worked the land, who was also fading in years, so they could eat. And then she died – as a nine or 10-year old; his life had been crushed. He managed to become a sharecropper, which is somebody who earns $2.50 a month to pay for his rent and his food. I have seen the ledgers that still exist where he cleared his debt and his grandmother’s debt, before his father came to collect him. That man survived and became The King of the Blues. To do what he has done is remarkable.


No US distributor yet for a project that's being called "very cinematic."

Couldn't find any media on it yet.

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  • RW | January 25, 2014 2:12 PMReply

    Near the beginning of the show, there is a clip of BB playing acoustic guitar. Any idea where I can hear the whole song or get the audio?

  • Barbara | May 21, 2012 11:38 PMReply

    I read his autobiography when it came out years ago. I would LOVE to see this documentary. Love myself some B.B. King!!

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