Questlove to direct Sly Stone documentary

The "Untitled Sly Stone Project" is the follow-up film from Thompson, who won an Oscar in March for his directorial debut, "Summer of Soul."

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is following up his Oscar-winning directorial debut, “Summer of Soul,” with another music documentary. The Roots drummer and bandleader will be tackling the story of singer/songwriter Sly Stone, according to Variety.

The “Untitled Sly Stone Project” synopsis describes the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer as an artist who was “breaking all the rules at a time when doing so was extremely challenging, even dangerous.” Stone led his Sly and the Family Stone band to critical and commercial success starting in the mid-1960s with hits like “Dance to the Music,” “Stand,” “Everyday People,” and “Family Affair.”

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2010 - Day 3
Sly Stone performs in April 2010 during Day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.

The documentary will also focus on Stone’s dark times and inner demons that led to his taking a decades-long hiatus from music after 1982. Thompson is thrilled to be directing the project since Stone greatly influenced him and his peers.

“It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA,” said Thompson. “It’s a Black musician’s blueprint. To be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me.”

MRC Non-Fiction will helm the project. Zarah Zohlman and Shawn Gee of Thompson’s Two One Five Entertainment will produce the film. Common, fellow Oscar-winner and frequent Roots collaborator, will executive produce the movie via Stardust Films, along with Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of ID8 Multimedia.

“Sly’s influence on popular music and culture as a whole is immeasurable, and what his career represents is a parable that transcends time and place,” said Amit Dey, the head of MRC Non-Fiction, in a statement. “Questlove’s vision, sensitivity and reverence bring the urgency that Sly’s story and music deserve, and we’re excited to be working with him to bring Sly’s story to life.”

Thompson won an Oscar in March at the “94th Academy Awards” for best documentary feature for “Summer of Soul,” a concert film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The footage featured performances by Stone, as well as Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder and Mahalia Jackson.

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