Sony Music Entertainment's Premium Content Division, in collaboration with SME Canada and Vermilion Films, has announced the start of production on an untitled feature-length documentary about Celine Dion, the five-time Grammy-winning artist who has sold more than 250 million records.
Irene Taylor, Vermillion's key creative player, is directing the film. Her debut feature documentary, Hear and Now, earned a Peabody Award and the Audience Award at Sundance in 2007. The Final Inch (2009), a documentary short, was nominated for an Academy Award.
“I've always been an open book with my fans,” Dion stated in a statement released by SME, “and I believe that with [Tayler's] compassion and thoughtful creativity, Irene will be able to show everyone a side of me that they haven't seen before... I'm confident she'll portray my tale in the most genuine and passionate way possible.”
The French Canadian singer, who began recording when she was in her early teens, has been dubbed "The Queen of Adult Contemporary," and is perhaps best known for singing "My Heart Will Go On," the Oscar-winning ballad from Titanic.
While A-list talent isn't uncommon in documentaries — Tina Turner (Tina), Taylor Swift (Miss Americana), and Led Zeppelin (Becoming Led Zeppelin) all gave their blessing to the filmmakers behind these films — the process of a subject aligning with a director to tell his or her story is becoming more common, especially when access to personal archives and music ribbing is available. The fact that Dion's label group is footing the bill and will serve as distributor only adds to Taylor's advantage. The Sony Music label family has distributed all of the French Canadian's English-language albums.
In rare circumstances, the subject will be given a producer credit, like with the planned Justin Bieber documentary Our World, or Val Kilmer on Val, on which the actor apparently had final cut.
On paper, the process isn't always as symbiotic as it appears. Alanis Morrisette is said to have interviewed directors for the recent biopic Jagged, however she did not take credit as a producer. She then expressed her displeasure with the film's content and tone.
It's unclear whether Dion will be credited as a producer or if the film will be released in theaters.
Her four-year Las Vegas residency, which began in 2003 and has grossed more than $385 million, is the most successful of all time. Dion will return to Vegas later this year with a new show at Resorts World Las Vegas, which will begin with ten performances in November. Her Courage World Tour, which was cut short in 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic, will resume in the spring and summer of 2022 across North America and Europe.