Ol’ Dirty Bastard was undeniably the most colorful character in the Wu-Tang Clan collective. But his wild ways ultimately caught up to him and he died of an accidental drug overdose in November 2004, just days before his 36th birthday. Like many other Hip Hop legends, ODB’s legacy continues thanks to the hard work of his family, friends and fellow Wu-Tang members.
On Thursday (March 31), the A&E Network announced a two-hour Ol’ Dirty Bastard biopic had been green-lit. Tentatively titled Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the documentary will focus on ODB’s brief but impactful career.
As the press release explains, the film intends to be “a celebration of his artistry and legacy” and “an unflinching look at the complexities of his life including addiction, adultery, fame, mental illness, sudden wealth, race and criminal justice.” It will also “ask the question of just how complicit the media and music industry were in hastening his demise.”
Produced by Pulse Films — responsible for AppleTV+’s Beastie Boys documentary, Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Katy Perry’s Part Of Me — with Four Screens and the Ol’ Dirty Bastard Estate, the film will include never-before-seen personal archival footage shot by ODB’s widow Icelene Jones.
“I am thrilled to tell the full story of my husband,” Jones says. “With this documentary the world will learn about the son, the husband, the father, and the artist. I’m proud of the team that we built, including Pulse, my producing partners Nicole Beckett and Messiah Jacobs at Four Screens, and our directing team, the Pollards.”
In a November 2021 interview with MIC, Wu-Tang’s de facto leader RZA was discussing the Sasha Jenkins documentary Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mice and Men and the popular Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga when he confirmed the Ol’ Dirty Bastard biopic was on its way.
“The documentary was to capture the story as best we can in the reality of it, and then the TV series was to dramatize it,” he said. “The third tier of the plan, which I’m in progress of, is an ODB movie biopic. Like the five-year Wu-Tang plan, this was a five-year media plan that I concocted, I meditated on, and I’m striving to live out. So far, it’s working well.”
Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard (wt) will be directed by Sam and Jason Pollard. Sam Bridger and Diene Pettrle serve as executive producers and Louis Mole serves as producer for Pulse Films. Messiah Jacobs, Nicole Beckett and Icelene Jones will serve as the executive producers representing Four Screens and the Ol’ Dirty Bastard Estate. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as executive producers for A&E Network.