The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to direct documentary film about Dr. John

The project is described as "a tale of true Americana"

Dan Auerbach is to make his directorial debut with a documentary feature film about the life of legendary late New Orleans musician Dr. John.

The Black Keys frontman, who produced Dr. John’s 2012 album ‘Locked Down’, will helm UNTITLED DR. JOHN, made in partnership with RadicalMedia and Impact Artist Productions. Currently, there is no confirmation of a release date.

The film is descried as being “about a man and his home: how a city raises him, shapes him and how a city’s trajectory changed his life and how his life shapes the city right back. This is the story of the intricate life and prolific musical and cultural impact of Mac Rebennack, best known as Dr. John, the Nite Tripper.”


It continues: “This is the tale of true Americana, of the art that can sometimes come from our darkest times. While racial oppression in 1950s America was as ugly as ever, a musical revolution began in New Orleans. To get around the Jim Crow segregation laws of the time, we learn how Mac and his bandmates had to break the rules, trick the clubs, and protect each other all for the love of music.”

Auerbach said in a statement: “I’m thrilled to be partnering with RadicalMedia and Impact Artist Productions to try my hand at directing a documentary feature for the first time and I’m honoured to have the subject be my friend Dr John. He was such a unique individual and a shining example of the great melting pot of American music.

Dr John. CREDIT; Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

“From his mysterious voodoo stage persona Dr John, to his real, humble self Mac Rebannack – the street poet, the family man, the junkie, the Grammy award winner and all that’s in between, this documentary will introduce the world to him in a way they haven’t seen him before. I’m still learning bits about him that I never knew, and I hope the movie provides a lens into the story of the life of Dr John.”

Jon Doran, Executive Producer and Managing Director at RadicalMedia added: “Dan’s creative experience with Mac, and his passion for this story truly brings a unique perspective and style to the project. We are thrilled to bring this important story to life with Dan at the helm and alongside our partners, Mac’s longtime managers, Ed Gerard and Peter Himberger.”