Bill Guttentag will direct and write the long awaited documentary on the iconic band Sublime. The documentary is expected to deal with the group’s rise to fame and the tragic loss of singer and creative force behind the band, Bradley Nowell. Guttentag who has won Academy Awards for 1989’s You Don’t Have to Die Again documentary and 2003’s Twin Towers documentary.
Billboard reports that the director is in the process of going through hours of unseen footage as well as unheard music from the Sublime archives and is even reaching out to fans to collect more footage for the documentary, which is expected to premiere in theaters in late 2018.
Bradley Nowell formed Sublime with drummer Bud Gaugh and bass player Eric Wilson back in 1988 in Long Beach, California. Nowell’s Dalmatian Lou Dog was the official mascot for the band and even traveled with the band while they were on tour. The band released their debut record, 40oz to Freedom, in 1992 and the album quickly became a local favorite for fans of reggae, ska, hip hop, and punk rock, which the band infused into their sound thanks to the creative songwriting of Nowell. Highly influential local Los Angeles radio station KROQ began to play the band leading to Sublime signing a major label record deal. The band later signed to MCA records for the third self titled album, which became a worldwide success, but Nowell died of a heroin overdose two months before the album hit the shelves.
After Nowell’s death, the band’s popularity continued to rise and all of their records began to sell. Since then, the band has entered into mythical “classic rock” territory where most of their fans never got a chance to see the original band perform live. The new documentary on the band aims to inform some of those younger fans while reaching out to new fans and satisfying long time fans of the band. Picking a director has taken the band and Nowell’s estate over a year to find somebody to tell the Sublime story, but all parties involved are excited to get the long overdue project off of the ground.
The Sublime Documentary is set to be produced by band manager Dave Kaplan, co-manager Scott Seine, band attorney Peter Paterno, and Nayeema Raza. The budget is looking to be around the $3 million dollar mark and financing is in place. One can guarantee that there will be yet another posthumous Sublime record filled with sounds that the general public has not heard before on a soundtrack. Drummer Bud Gaugh had this to say about the upcoming project.
“I can’t wait to hand deliver our story to our fans. It has been a long time coming and now there are literally two more generations of fans who never had the opportunity to see us perform, or don’t know the whole story. I am excited to work with Bill Guttentag, as I am a big fan of his work as well.”
The Sublime Documentary will mostly focus on the early days of the band up until Bradley Nowell’s death, but it appears that there will be some mention of the band continuing on after a long hiatus with a new singer, which has been a point of contention between long time fans and even Nowell’s estate. The news of the Sublime documentary comes as the band celebrates the 25th anniversary of their debut record, 40oz to Freedom.