Showtime has acquired the North American rights to Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, a four-part docuseries from Sacha Jenkins. Showtime said the project “merges music, socio-cultural commentary and intimate family portrait.”
The first two episodes will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 28. The full series will air on Showtime this spring.
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men is a Mass Appeal production in association with Endeavor Content. Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender and Chris Gary are executive producers.
Wu-Tang is set to mark the 25th anniversary of the New York rap outfit’s breakout debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, U-God, Ghostface, Method Man, Masta Killa and Cappadonna are the members.
“The Wu-Tang Clan is a seminal group that deserves a seminal documentary,” said Vinnie Malhotra, executive VP, nonfiction programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Sacha Jenkins delivers just that, not only reminding us of their powerful history through vintage footage, but also placing their impact in modern-day perspective that will be meaningful both to their diehard fans and music fans in general. I’m excited to be returning to Sundance with Sacha years after his directorial debut with what I believe to be his best work yet.”
The series checks in with each of the nine living members with never-before-seen archival footage and performances. “Their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit brought them together to overcome the poverty, violence and oppression of their neighborhoods,” said Showtime. “But it was music and their shared lyrical genius that allowed them to form the most recognized musical movement in the world, all while walking the treacherous tightrope that links business with brotherhood.”
Jenkins knows Wu-Tang from when he was publisher of one of hip-hop’s first zines, Beat Down. In 2013, Jenkins re-launched Mass Appeal as a premium entertainment company; he is its chief creative officer.
Jenkins’ directorial debut Fresh Dressed premiered at Sundance in 2015. He directed Burn Motherf*cker, Burn! and Word is Bond for Showtime.
Endeavor Content is handling international rights to the series.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.