Dan Auerbach's Dr. John Documentary Is Unauthorized, Says Estate

"The Estate will 'Walk on Guilded Splinters' to deliver new music and an officially authorized documentary, to be announced 'In the Right Place' at the right time"

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jul 22, 2021

Earlier this month, it was announced that Dan Auerbach would direct a documentary on the late Dr. John. Now, the estate of the late New Orleans musician has deemed the Black Keys frontman's project about his late collaborator to be unauthorized.

As Rolling Stone points out, Dr. John's estate issued a statement today denying its involvement in the film, writing, "The Official Estate of Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., p/k/a Dr. John, clarifies that the Estate has not authorized the recently announced documentary on the life of Dr. John purportedly to be produced by Impact Artist Productions (and Management) and Radical Media."

The statement continued: "For clarity, Impact Artist Productions (and Management) does not manage or speak for the Estate, which has its own team with, as Mac would say, a gang and a half of legalizers. The Estate thanks Mac's fans for their support and assures that the Estate will 'Walk on Guilded Splinters' to deliver new music and an officially authorized documentary, to be announced In the Right Place at the right time."

Upon the film's announcement, it was reported that the film would be executive produced by RadicalMedia's Jon Kamen and Jon Doran, alongside Dr. John's longtime managers, Ed Gerard and Peter Himberger of Impact Artist Productions.

A statement from Impact Artists and RadicalMedia provided to Pitchfork reads: "Our intention and ambition has and continues to be to collaborate with the Estate to properly honor Dr. John's legacy. We look forward to amicably advancing these conversations to collectively celebrate and further immortalize this singular, legendary artist."

Auerbach — who produced and performed on Dr. John's 2012 album Locked Down — previously called his late collaborator "a unique individual and a shining example of the great melting pot of American music," sharing in a statement that the documentary would "introduce the world to him in a way they haven't seen him before."

Dr. John passed away in 2019 at age 77. The Black Keys delivered blues covers effort Delta Kream earlier this year.

RadicalMedia recently produced the Questlove-directed film Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which we also named among the best music documentaries of 2021 so far.

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