What we know about Billie Eilish’s new documentary

From its release date, to its budget, to the period of the star’s life it will capture.

by Douglas Greenwood
16 December 2020, 1:22pm

After what’s been arguably the weirdest year for pop musicians in history — with some postponing stadium tours (Lady Gaga) and others bringing forward the release of new records to satiate our appetite for dancing during a lonely pandemic (Dua Lipa) — it’s nice to know that there are more reliable forms of hope on the horizon for 2021. As Billie Eilish announced that the arena tour in support of her debut album has officially been cancelled — a move which, we reckon, might be quite a good one — she’s counterbalanced that news with the arrival of the first trailer for an upcoming documentary about her life, titled The World’s A Little Blurry.

The movie, produced by Apple TV+ and directed by The September Issue producer R.J. Cutler, has been in post-production since before the pandemic halted the music industry, and captures the creation of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. So while much changed after that moment (not least her famous Grammy sweep), the documentary is going to be a throwback to the formation of a genius record when it eventually arrives nearly two years after said record’s release, on 26 February 2021. 

It’ll serve as a fascinating reminder of the homegrown nature of Billie’s genius. Despite becoming one of the biggest names in pop music, Billie’s music was famously made in the comfort of the home she grew up in, her brother serving as its executive producer. So while we usually have a bunch of tidbits from producers and studio staff on the creation of some artists’ albums, all of the secrets of Billie’s process, and her life to date, lie within this movie.

Interscope Records are on-board as producers of the movie, showing that they’ve played a key role in its creation, but interestingly, Billie doesn’t appear on the credits list. It’s become customary for artists to play a guiding role in the formation of the movies about their lives, but you often find the best ones are made when the artists have a hands-off approach, the end result more unfiltered. 

It’s reported the film was bought by Apple TV+ for $25 million, making it a pretty hefty purchase for the streaming service. The production budget was just a smidgen of that price, at $1-2 million. Clearly, Apple is aware of Billie’s star wattage, having co-signed her in the past via their music streaming service Apple Music, and now wants to jump on the hype for what’s bound to be a mega year for her. The movie will debut on their platform on 26 February 2021, but will have a simultaneous release in US theatres via cult distributor NEON, who’ve notably released movies by Harmony Korine and Bong Joon-Ho in the past. 

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