2019 Grammys

Sony Pictures Classics Buys Worldwide Rights to John Prine Documentary

Jason Davis/Getty Images for Americana Music Association
John Prine performs onstage during the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards at Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 12, 2018 in Nashville.

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up worldwide rights to an upcoming documentary on the life of singer-songwriter John Prine.

Tentatively titled John Prine: Hello in There, the documentary, from director Zachary Fuhrer, tells Prine's plucked from obscurity tale. Working as a mailman in the Chicago suburbs, he was discovered by film critic and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Roger Ebert, who heard Prine sing at an open-mic gig and wrote about him in the paper. The article landed Prine a record deal and he was off on a decades-long career that has taken him from Radio City Music Hall to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

John Prine: Hello in There follows the singer as he prepares to release his first album of new songs in 13 years. Fuhrer and Patrick Doyle co-wrote the film, which Doyle produced with the full support of the Prine family and young songwriters inspired by Prine, including Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Margo Price. RadicalMedia is a production partner on the film.

Sony Pictures Classics is planning a theatrical bow for the doc, which is currently in postproduction.

"Spending time with John Prine over the last year, we’ve learned that he is just as insightful -- and hilarious -- in everyday life as he is in his songs," Doyle said in a statement. "From playing at pubs in western Ireland to the Ryman Auditorium, there is nobody better at spellbinding a room. For the last 50 years, he's been a voice for the overworked, underpaid and forgotten, and our current political times have made his songs even more relevant."

The deal for John Prine: Hello in There was negotiated directly between the filmmakers and Sony Pictures Classics. The filmmakers are repped by Bianca Grimshaw of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.