Robbie Robertson and the Band announce new, career-spanning documentary

The Canadian icons reunite with director Martin Scorsese, who will executive produce the project.

The Canadian icons reunite with director Martin Scorsese, who will executive produce the project

(Elliott Landy)

Robbie Robertson and the Band are the subjects of a new documentary that will take a look back at the 60-year career of one of Canada's most celebrated acts.

The upcoming film, titled Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, is inspired by Robertson's 2017 memoir, Testimony, which tells the story of the musician's rise to fame as the leader of the Band. The film also draws on their experiences touring with Bob Dylan as well as the group's famous 1978 concert documentary, The Last Waltz. The Last Waltz's director, Martin Scorsese, has signed on to this new project as an executive producer alongside Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. (Howard himself is also involved in another upcoming music doc about opera star Luciano Pavarotti.)

This film is a co-production between Imagine Documentaries, White Pine Pictures, Bell Media Studios and Universal Music Canada's Shed Creative. It will be directed by Daniel Roher, who has worked on CBC Short Docs such as Sourtoe: the Story of the Sorry Cannibal and Finding Fukue

As reported by Deadline, the documentary will include rare archival footage as well as interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Peter Gabriel, David Geffen, Ronnie Hawkins, Scorsese and others.

"Robbie and the Band are the stuff of rock n' roll mythology," Imagine Documentaries president Justin Wilkes told Deadline. "As a Woodstock native, the Big Pink house loomed large in my cultural psyche growing up and like many, many others, the music sure made a lasting impression. The gospel according to Robbie is a wild, cinematic ride and we here at Imagine are honoured to partner with Daniel and an illustrious band of producers in sharing Robbie's story with the world." 

In an interview with CBC News this week, Robertson notes that he recently wrote the score to Scorsese's new film, The Irishman (in theatres and on Netflix this fall), and the Band is currently in the process of repackaging its 1969 self-titled album into a 50th anniversary collector's edition release.


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