Director Clarifies Courtney Love’s Role in Creation of Kurt Cobain Documentary
Courtney Love has been squeezed out of the creative process behind ‘Montage of Heck,’ the first authorized Kurt Cobain documentary, even though she initially contacted director Brett Morgen to make the film.
The documentary was directed by Brett Morgen, best known for his 2002 Robert Evans film ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture,’ and was executive produced by Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean. While Love initially got the ball rolling on the project, Morgen told The Hollywood Reporter after working closely with Frances Bean they both “agreed that because Courtney was a subject in the film, it would be best if she wasn’t given editorial control.”
Frances Bean Cobain has infamously battled with her mother at times, including issuing a restraining order against Love in 2009. The 22-year-old took to Twitter recently and wrote, "I'm really excited for you guys to see Montage of Heck. @brettmorgen created an intense yet wonderful examination of Kurt's life & art."
Morgen added that Love has not seen the film and he is “not sure she’s intending to.”
‘Montage of Heck’ will feature dozens of Nirvana songs and performances as well as previously unheard Cobain originals. Morgen cleared rights with Cobain’s mother, Wendy Cobain, as well as Geffen Records/Universal Music Group for the film, which will premiere at Sundance in January before debuting on HBO later in 2015.
In the meantime, Love is working on her own Cobain biopic, which is expected to go into production next year.
She will take to the stage in New York City next month to star in the pop opera ‘Kansas City Choir Boy,’ which opens on Jan. 8.
Editor's Note: Director Brett Morgen has issued a statement to Rolling Stone to clarify Courtney Love's involvement with the 'Montage of Heck' film. In it, he reveals that Love never asked for nor was denied any editorial involvement in the movie. His statement can be read below:
Courtney Love first came to me with the idea for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck in 2007. She was hoping to make a film that revealed a deeper understanding of Kurt than had been depicted in the media. While several parties control rights to Kurt’s music, Courtney and her daughter, are the sole rights holders to Kurt’s belongings, which are used quite readily throughout the film. In granting me access to his possessions, Courtney gave me permission to use the items in any manner I deemed appropriate for the film. She never asked for any editorial involvement. In today’s age, and particularly when making a film on a public figure, it is virtually unheard of to grant this kind of access to a filmmaker. And for that I will always be grateful.
Any suggestion that Courtney was denied editorial involvement couldn’t be further from the truth. It was her idea to let me have control. This film would not exist today without the support of Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain and Wendy O’Connor.
The trust that has been invested in me by Courtney, Frances, and Kurt’s immediate family has been crucial in allowing me to paint a portrait of Kurt that is both honest, unflinching, empathetic, and effecting. I look forward to sharing this film with audiences around the world in 2015.