Boeing 737 Max Disaster Doc From Rory Kennedy Lands at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

Matt Donnelly

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Netflix has acquired a new documentary about the Boeing 737 Max disasters from noted filmmaker Rory Kennedy.

First developed as a series, the streaming giant will air the project as a feature documentary on a to-be-determined date. The film comes from Imagine Documentaries, an arm of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, run by Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein.

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Kennedy and her producing partner Mark Bailey, an Emmy-nominated writer, will examine the global tragedy that began in March 2019 after two new aircrafts crashed within five months, killing 346 people.

Media reports have focused on improperly vetted design flaws and an internal push for production speed at Boeing, while numerous accounts have pointed to pilot inexperience and poor airmanship. In addition to the human cost, the doc will explore the reputation crisis the iconic company has faced in the aftermath.

The doc will rely on first-person accounts, to put a human face on the tragedies. It also hopes to let audiences make up their own minds about what happened and why.

The sale marks the first co-production between Imagine Documentaries, and Kennedy and Bailey’s Moxie Films.

Kennedy’s 2014 documentary, “Last Days in Vietnam,” which told the story of the Vietnam War’s final weeks, was nominated for an Oscar for documentary feature. She won the Emmy for nonfiction special in 2007 for her film “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” which chronicled the American abuse of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. Bailey co-wrote both features.

Imagine Documentaries was formed in 2018 with a focus on developing and producing premium feature documentaries and non-scripted television. Recent releases include the Toronto Film Festival opening night movie “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band,” executive produced by Martin Scorsese and released by Magnolia Pictures; a feature documentary on NBA star Dwyane Wade from ESPN Films; as well as Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Dads,” premiering on Apple TV Plus this year.

Also on deck at Imagine Documentaries is the film “Rebuilding Paradise” at NatGeo, which follows the Paradise, Calif., wildfires that most recently ravaged a community; “On Pointe,” a series showcasing students at the School of American Ballet leading up to the annual performance of the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center for Disney Plus; and “Gossip,” a limited series focusing on New York Post columnist Cindy Adams at Showtime.

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