A Beastie Boys Doc is Coming From Spike Jonze and Apple+ TV

Published on January 15, 2020

A Beastie Boys documentary is coming from two powerhouses, Apple and filmmaker Spike Jonze. There’s no better filmmaker to direct a Beastie Boys doc than Jonze, who has a long and famous history with the groundbreaking rap group from Brooklyn. The doc, Beastie Boys Story, features Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Mike “Mike D” Diamond looking back on their music careers skyrocketing in the ‘80s. 

More Info on the Doc 

The doc is described as a “live documentary film” shot at Brooklyn’s King’s Theater, where Horovitz and Diamond did a bit of a variety show last year. They were promoting their epic book, Beastie Boys Book, which is everything a fan would want and more. During their book tour and Q&A, they did a show in Brooklyn described as “2 person 1 man show about 3 kids who started a band together.” Jonze directed the show, which played for three nights. The show involved sketches, sharing stories from the book, and lessons from life and music. They look back on the long history of the band, and of course, the passing of Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch, a man who knew everything about everything. 

Premiere Date

On April 3rd, Beastie Boys Story will play in select IMAX theaters, which is exactly where any fan of the band will want to experience that story. A few weeks later on April 24th, the doc will be available on Apple TV+. Here’s the official release date announcement from Beastie Boys’ Twitter account: 

Spike Jonze and Beastie Boys

Jonze and the Beastie Boys go way, way back. He helped define their image with some iconic music videos, “Sabotage,” “Intergalactic,” and “Sure Shot.” Without those videos, who knows how Jonze’s career would’ve gone or if he’d ever direct Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Her. As Jonze himself said in a statement, he owes a lot to the Beastie Boys:

“I owe Beastie Boys a lot. One time, they pulled me out of a burning ship, and another time they helped me cheat on my college exam to get into Florida State. So, it was a real privilege to get to reunite with them and help them tell their story.”

The doc joins one of the many projects Jonze has been working on these last few years. Sadly, he hasn’t written and directed a movie since 2013’s Her, but he’s still made notable contributions to pop culture since then. He shot an incredibly imaginative short film with FKA Twigs for Apple, a joyous Dior ad, and a beautifully shot but inconsistent comedy special from Aziz Ansari, “Aziz Ansari: Right Now.” Currently, he doesn’t have any movies in the works that we know about.

Synopsis for Doc 

“Here’s what the film is: Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz of Beastie Boys tell you an intimate, personal story of their band, and their 40 years of friendship together. From the 1980s New York City punk scene, to ‘Fight For Your Right (to Party)’ and becoming the first hip-hop artists to make a #1 record (Licensed to Ill), through their evolution, which took them to Sabotage, Intergalactic, and beyond.

Created with their old friend, their former grandfather and collaborator, filmmaker Spike Jonze, the film seamlessly mixes a live stage show and documentary to create a new format, a live documentary. Their co-conspirator, musician, activist, inventor, discredited astrophysics professor and my favorite Beastie Boy, Adam Yauch, couldn’t be there that night because he passed away in 2012. But even though he’s not there, his spirit is very much felt onstage through Mike and Adam and the force of nature that was Yauch, their band, and their friendship.”

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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