Warner Bros. acquires Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut Western Stars
Ahead of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the Bruce Springsteen co-directed film adaptation of his latest album Western Stars with plans to release the film in theaters later this fall!
The album, which hit shelves in June, received critical acclaim for the artist’s reinvention of his sound and character and the stories touching on themes of love, loss, loneliness, family and the unavoidable passage of time, and debuted at the number two spot on the Billboard 200. The documentary follows Springsteen performing all 13 songs from the album backed by a band and full orchestra under the cathedral ceiling of his nearly 100-year-old barn.
“We have Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut at the festival, I think he’s got a big future ahead of him,” TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey previously told IndieWire. “It’s largely performance, but there is a framing to it. It’s very filmic, which is what attracted me. The album and the film are both about this fading Western movie B-level star who’s looking back on his life and the decisions he’s made. That narrative and that character shape all the songs. “In between the songs, you’ve got Bruce really talking about this character he invented, the story he wrote for the character, and how it reflects back on his own life as he ages and other kind of narratives he’s had in his previous albums.”
The documentary marks the re-teaming of Springsteen and director Thom Zimmy, who previously worked with him on the documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town and the filmed version of Springsteen on Braodway, for which he has earned an Emmy nomination.
“Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers,” Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group Toby Emmerich said in a statement. “With ‘Western Stars,’ Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead. As one of his many fans for over 40 years, I couldn’t be happier to be a rider on this train with Bruce and Thom.”
A release date hasn’t currently been set for the documentary, but it’s expected to hit the big screen later this year, with the studio attaching a first-look of the film to the Bruce Springsteen-infused coming-of-age dramedy Blinded by the Light, which is now in theaters.