Ron Howard is in the music documentary business again. Just two years after directing The Beatles: Eight Days a Week about the Fab Four’s early days, he’s back with Pavarotti, a film chronicling the life of the late opera great Luciano Pavarotti that hits US theaters June 7.
Howard admits he wasn’t an avid opera fan before his Eight Days a Week producer Nigel Sinclair pitched him the Pavarotti project.
“Similar to The Beatles: Eight Days a Week movie, he said ‘Look, we found some new footage. I think the family is interested or willing to talk. We don’t know for sure, but does the character interest you at all?’” Howard says in this week’s episode of Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast The Big Ticket.”
“And I said ‘Well, it’s kind of perfect for me because I love explorations where I have an innate respect and fascination, but not necessarily all that much knowledge,’ which by the way even includes The Beatles.”
“I understood how charismatic he was,” Howard said. “A little bit later in my life, I began to appreciate the talent but I had no idea what the journey was.”
Luciano Pavarotti was one of opera’s most celebrated tenors. He was 71 when he died in 2007 from pancreatic cancer.
Pavarotti utilizes never-before-seen footage, as you might expect, but also uses state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos sound technology to make the documentary sound as if you’re sitting there listening to the singer perform for you. So, while you may be used to checking out docs from the comfort of your own home, which works for many of the genre’s best offerings, Pavarotti begs you to watch it in a theater, on the biggest possible screen, with the best possible sound.
Howard’s film is a love letter to the icon, but ultimately Pavarotti is a more of a celebration of the individual behind that façade and a reminder that it’s as much his humanity as his talent that made him a star.
Prorom will release Pavarotti in Slovakia on July 4, in Czech Republic on July 11 (in collaboration with Bonton) and in Hungary through our own company Big Bang Media on October 10, 2019.
Sources: Variety, The Playlist, The Wrap.