HBO recently obtained the rights to Montage of Heck, the first “full authorized” documentary on Kurt Cobain. The film is being directed by Brett Morgen and executed produced by Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean. As for Courtney Love’s role in the project? Nonexistent.
Though Love initially approached Morgen about making the documentary, according toThe Hollywood Reporter, Morgen said “he “started working more closely with [Frances Bean],” adding, “We agreed that because Courtney was a subject in the film, it would be best if she wasn’t given editorial control.”
Morgen said Love “hasn’t seen” the finished project and “I’m not sure she’s intending to.”
Update: Morgen has issued a statement clarifying Love’s involvement in the film.
“Courtney Love first came to me with the idea for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck in 2007. She was hoping to make a film that revealed a deeper understanding of Kurt than had been depicted in the media. While several parties control rights to Kurt’s music, Courtney and her daughter, are the sole rights holders to Kurt’s belongings, which are used quite readily throughout the film. In granting me access to his possessions, Courtney gave me permission to use the items in any manner I deemed appropriate for the film. She never asked for any editorial involvement. In today’s age, and particularly when making a film on a public figure, it is virtually unheard of to grant this kind of access to a filmmaker. And for that I will always be grateful.
Any suggestion that Courtney was denied editorial involvement couldn’t be further from the truth. It was her idea to let me have control. This film would not exist today without the support of Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain and Wendy O’Connor.
The trust that has been invested in me by Courtney, Frances, and Kurt’s immediate family has been crucial in allowing me to paint a portrait of Kurt that is both honest, unflinching, empathetic, and effecting. I look forward to sharing this film with audiences around the world in 2015.”
Montage of Heck is set to premiere at Sundance in January before hitting HBO later in the year. In addition to his work with Frances Bean, Morgen has secured rights with Cobain’s mother, Wendy, as well as Geffen Records / Universal Music Group.
Love, meanwhile, is reportedly working on her own Cobain biopic, which is supposedly going into development next year.