Earlier this month, a Kurt Cobain mixtape from the late 1980s titled Montage of Heck began re-circulating online. That now looks like quite the coincidence, because HBO has announced it will premiere a new Cobain documentary next year titled Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.
Billed as the first “fully authorized” feature documentary about Cobain, the movie is written, directed and produced by Brett Morgen, who was also behind the 2012 Rolling Stones HBO film Crossfire Hurricane. Frances Bean Cobain, Cobain’s daughter, is executive producer.
According to HBO, the film will include “never-before-seen home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos, personal archives, family archives and songbook.” Dozens of Nirvana songs and performances are set for the film. The movie also promises a look at some “previously unheard Cobain originals.”
The project was eight years in the making, Morgen said in a statement. “Like most people, when I started, I figured there would be limited amounts of fresh material to unearth,” he said. “However, once I stepped into Kurt’s archive, I discovered over 200 hours of unreleased music and audio, a vast array of art projects (oil paintings, sculptures), countless hours of never-before-seen home movies and over 4000 pages of writings that together help paint an intimate portrait of an artist who rarely revealed himself to the media.”
Hole frontwoman Courtney Love, Cobain’s widow and the mother of Frances Bean, isn’t mentioned in HBO’s press release, but she has previously mentioned a Morgen-directed Cobain documentary. “He’s based it a little bit on the movie Lenny, the one with Dustin Hoffman,” she was quoted as saying by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, referring to the 1974 Lenny Bruce biopic. “It’s not like a Behind the Music doc. The only people talking in it are (Nirvana bassist) Krist Novoselic, Kurt’s mother and me. It’s vérité, mostly.”