He did a lot of drugs, loved the punk music of the New York’s Bowery in the late ‘70s and, above all, had a passion for food and drink – from all over the world and in all the places traditional food critics weren’t looking for it. After his suicide two months ago, CNN has decided there is still much we didn’t learn during our decades-long love affair with culinary bad boy Anthony Bourdain. The channel, which produced Bourdain’s hugely popular travelling, eating and drinking show Parts Unknown, is working on a feature-length documentary about him, which Vanity Fair reports will air at festivals before being released in theatres as early as next year.
Produced by Zero Point Zero, the production company responsible for Bourdain’s show, the documentary is driven by the idea that as CNN executive vice-president for talent and content Amy Entelis told Vanity Fair: “As well as we knew Tony … because he did reveal himself in the series, there was still a hunger to know more about him, and to honour his work and celebrate him. The documentary format became one of the more obvious ways to go.”
CNN’s documentary division has made a number of successful forays into feature documentaries since its establishment in 2012, including Blackfish and the recent RBG – about the life and career of US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The channel announced earlier this month it would air the final seven-episode season of Parts Unknown, on which Bourdain was working at the time of his suicide, later this year. Bourdain had only written and recorded the voiceover for one episode of the final season of the show before his death but CNN hopes to fill in the remainder with footage of his travels, combined with voiceovers from directors and producers and material recorded onsite by Bourdain.
After that, the seemingly insatiable hunger for all things Bourdain related will have to be satisfied by reruns and rereads of his books before the final release date for what its producers describe as the “definitive Bourdain documentary” is announced.
WATCH | The final show in the life of Anthony Bourdain│Parts Unknown S11E06 Berlin: