An upcoming documentary on funk music icon Sly Stone has been acquired by Disney’s Onyx Collective to stream on Hulu.
The untitled film is directed by musician and filmmaker Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who won an Oscar for his directorial debut Summer of Soul (2021).
Sly Stone, 79, was born Sylvester Stewart. He grew up in the Bay area and climbed the charts in the 1960s and ‘70s with the Sly and the Family Stone hits “Everyday People,” “Dance to the Music,” “Family Affair,” and “I Want to Take You Higher.”
Per Onyx Collective, the film will examine “the life and legacy of Sly and the Family Stone, the groundbreaking band led by the charismatic and enigmatic Sly Stone. This film tells the story behind the rise, reign and fadeout of one of pop music’s most influential artists and, in doing so, tells a very human story about the cost of genius.”
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Despite his success, the New York Post reported in 2011 that Stone had become homeless and was living in a van in South Los Angeles. The publication said his fortune had been “stolen by a lethal combination of excess, substance abuse and financial mismanagement.”
Stone let a reporter inside his van and said, “I like my small camper.” Although he admitted life wasn’t easy and urged the journalist to let the world know he needed help. “But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music,” he said. “I’m tired of all this s–, man.”
He accused his talent manager Jerry Goldstein, attorney Glenn Stone and Even St. Productions of stealing his royalties.
A Los Angeles jury awarded Stone $5 million in 2015.
The upcoming documentary on his life is executive produced by Stone, Brian Gersh, Questlove, Shawn Gee, Zarah Zohlman, Lonnie Rashid Lynn better – known as Common, Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone, Ron Weisner, and Paul Gertz.
Joseph Patel is producing and writing the film as part of his new production deal with Onyx Collective. Derik Murray is co-producer and Jeff Mao is co-writing the film.
Onyx Collective is part of Disney and helps develop projects from creators of color and underrepresented communities to primarily stream on Hulu.
A release date for the documentary will be announced later.