Acclaimed documentarian Dawn Porter has partnered with Cirque Du Soleil to create a film chronicling its return to the Las Vegas stage following the COVID-19 lockdown. The Sundance winning director is working with MGM Television to produce the feature documentary about the live entertainment group, Deadline is reporting.
Porter, who’s known for helming such acclaimed documentaries as John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It, has begun shooting the Cirque du Soleil-inspired movie, which is still untitled. The production will highlight Cirque du Soleil’s show O, which is set to open tonight at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
For the first time in its 37-year history, Cirque du Soleil has granted exclusive access to a filmmaker to chronicle how its water-inspired show, O, is created, both in the ring and behind the scenes. Porter’s movie will highlight how Cirque du Soleil‘s performers put on 52,000 shows for more than 70 million people in Las Vegas before the start of COVID-19.
The upcoming movie is also set to tell the inside story of Cirque du Soleil‘s resurgence after it experienced the most challenging time in its run. O, like all live shows, faced serious challenges as a result of the pandemic. The entertainment group’s performers faced the most serious consequences of OOVID-19, and their stories will be featured as the centerpiece of Porter’s film.
In addition to helming the documentary, Porter is also serving as an executive producer. Her production company, Trilogy Films, is working with Industrial Media to provide production services.
While discussing the new film, Porter said, “Like so many people, I have always been enthralled with the beauty and mystery of Cirque du Soleil and fascinated with the extraordinarily talented people who make the seemingly impossible come to life. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to document Cirque‘s biggest challenge, a return to the stage after one of the world’s greatest crises. The performers, cast, company and crew are giving their all to make this the biggest premiere of their careers. This is a magnificent story and I’m so grateful to be able to tell it.”
Daniel Lamarre, the President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, also chimed in on the movie. He said, “We are thrilled to have MGM on board to capture this once-in-a lifetime moment in Cirque du Soleil‘s history. The return of O is marking the long-awaited return of live entertainment and solidifies the future of our company.”
Mark Burnett, MGM’s Chairman of Worldwide Television also shared his happiness over the documentary, saying: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to document this incredible chapter in Cirque du Soleil‘s story. Chronicling the re-opening of the aquatic O show brings MGM back to its roots, as it was 75 years ago that the studio produced the first Aqua Musicals with Esther Williams.”
“This film is a collaboration of incredible talent. Cirque du Soleil are the masters of theatrics and acrobatics, and Dawn Porter is a gifted director who brings the personal stories and struggles of these performers to center stage. Intermission is definitely over,” added Barry Poznick, MGM’s President of MGM Television and Orion Television.