The YouTube Originals documentary The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash has set a premiere date of Nov. 11. A trailer for the 90-minute doc directed by frequent Bruce Springsteen collaborator, Emmy- and Grammy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny (Springsteen on Broadway), dropped on Tuesday (Oct. 1), teasing what a press release promised is a wellspring of “recently discovered archival materials and interviews with family and celebrated collaborators,” as it explores the country icon’s “artistic victories, the personal tragedies, the struggles with addiction, and the spiritual pursuits” that drove his life.
The movie was created with the full cooperation of the Cash estate and uses his legendary 1968 gig at Folsom Prison as a central motif for the deep dive into Cash’s life. Among the film’s co-producers is Carter’s son, John Carter Cash, the musician who is the only child of Cash and his beloved wife, June Carter Cash; it will also feature original music composed and performed by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.
The two-and-a-half-minute trailer mixes archival footage and photos of Cash with interview excerpts and testimonials from friends and fellow musicians about the deeply spiritual country legend’s restless, relentless drive to perform, record and testify on wax. “I’m thankful that God has inspired me to write. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for the gift,” Cash says in his signature rumbling baritone in the sneak peek.
Watch the Gift trailer below.