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Given his long career in the culinary and television industries, it’s unsurprising that Anthony Bourdain will be the subject of an upcoming documentary.

Everything we know about the upcoming Anthony Bourdain doc

For decades, Anthony Bourdain was a culinary storyteller that would enter our homes to show us the amazing world via his love of food and travel. This made his death in 2018 at the age of 61 from apparent suicide all the more tragic. He still just had so much more to share and explore with himself, his loved ones, and the world.

Given his inner torment along with his long career in the culinary and television industries, it’s unsurprising that Bourdain will be the subject of an upcoming documentary. For many people, his explorations in Parts Unknown and No Reservations were part of their lives for so long.

What made Bourdain a truly great host was he approached different cultures with an open mind and a curious palette – along with his trademark dry, biting wit. Bourdain believed everyone had a story to tell and a tradition to share, and the best way of doing so was over a meal. 

While the project was only announced on Friday, Oct. 25, we’ve gathered what we know so far about the new Anthony Bourdain documentary.

The Bourdain retrospective will be a joint project.

The feature-length documentary is a joint project with Focus Features, CNN, and HBO Max. CNN was where Bourdain’s final show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, aired. He moved to the broadcaster, best known as a news network, following a fallout with the Travel Channel, who produced No Reservations and The Layover.

If you’re not keeping up with the streaming wars, HBO Max is going to be the streaming service for Warner Bros media properties. Some of their other projects include films produced by Reese Witherspoon and Greg Berlanti along with TV shows Grease: Rydell High and a Gossip Girl revival.

Focus Features will release the documentary to theaters. CNN will air the doc on television while the streaming rights go to HBO Max. CNN Films and HBO Max are going to be executive producers on the new Bourdain documentary.

The Bourdain project will be directed by Morgan Neville.

For documentary fans, the name Morgan Neville probably sounds very familiar indeed. This Academy Award-winning filmmaker has made documentaries like 20 Feet from Stardom and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. Neville will also produce under his Tremolo Productions banner. In a statement, Neville expressed his excitement for the project along with his views of Bourdain’s impact.

“Anthony Bourdain did more to help us understand each other than just about anyone in the history of television. He connected with people not in spite of his flaws, but because of them. To have the opportunity to tell his story is humbling.”

20 Feet From Stardom (2013) focuses on the lives of background singers. The film netted Neville his first Oscar in 2014 for Best Documentary Feature. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was released in 2018 and explored on the life of legendary children’s television personality Fred Rogers. Another recent profile of Neville’s is 2018’s They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, about Orson Wells. 

Needless to say, Neville does excellent work profiling amazing and complex people’s public & private lives. He’s a great choice to direct the doc on Bourdain’s fascinating life. 

When will the Anthony Bourdain documentary be out?

Currently, there’s no release set for the project. Documentaries generally set their own timelines. Our guess is it will either be released in late 2020 or 2021 around festival or awards season, as Neville tends to set a rapid production pace. Film Daily will keep you in the loop about the highly anticipated project either way.

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