Netflix Paying $30M For A Kanye Documentary Decades In The Making: Report
Back in 2003, Kanye West released the video for his debut single “Through The Wire,” directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, the directorial team known as Coodie & Chike. That same year the duo directed a clip for Kanye’s College Dropout track “Two Words.” When Kanye was unsatisfied with the first two videos for “Jesus Walks,” he recruited Coodie & Chike to direct a third. Simmons, a fellow Chicago native, has been filming Kanye for many years — as early as 1998, as this footage attests — and by about 2002 he was reportedly doing so with the intention of making a documentary about his life and career. Now, several monumentally eventful decades later, it looks like his and Ozah’s film is finally coming out at far longer than standard movie length.
Billboard reports that Netflix has paid $30 million for the rights to Coodie & Chike’s career-spanning Kanye docuseries. Per the report, Kanye is not creatively involved with the project but has supported it by giving the filmmakers access over the years. Their Creative Control company will reportedly co-produce the series with TIME Studios. The project will reportedly feature never before seen footage and will cover many of the major events in Kanye’s life and career, including the death of his mother, his move into fashion design, and his failed 2020 presidential run. Neither Netflix nor Kanye’s rep commented on Billboard‘s report.
Simmons and Ozah met when Simmons was running the locally popular Chicago TV series Channel Zero with Danny Sorge and Ozah was doing motion graphics for MTV. Their music video work led to the founding of Creative Control, which has since launched such as films as the 30 For 30 feature Benji for ESPN and the Stephon Marbury documentary A Kid From Coney Island for Netflix.
Steve Stanulis, a former NYC cop and Chippendale’s dancer who worked as Kanye’s bodyguard in 2016, has also been pitching a documentary based on his experience that year to Hollywood producers. Kanye’s lawyers have twice threatened Stanulis with lawsuits over public comments about Mr. West. Stanulis’ rep told Billboard he is “still in discussions with multiple platforms” about his film.