This is a strange and intriguing project: National Geographic has given the go-ahead to a documentary series project from movie stars Joaquin Phoenix & Casey Affleck in tandem with filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin. The as-yet-untitled series will chronicle the last days of people's lives, using a combination of documentary footage, expert testimony and reenactment in order to show how people have faced their final hours.
This high-concept docu series is expected to be heavily promoted given the fan recognition of the two top names attached. Joaquin Phoenix, star of 'The Master,' first reached the A-List in Hollywood with 2000's 'Gladiator.' From there, the actor was on top of the world for years, making several excellent feature films, until his self-imposed acting exile precipitating the poorly-received mockumentary about his life entitled 'I'm Still Here.'
'I'm Still Here' was the directorial debut of actor Casey Affleck, marking the beginning of a partnership between Affleck and Phoenix. Affleck, star of 'Gone Baby Gone' and 'The Killer Inside Me' is a very talented and accomplished actor (having garnered an Oscar nomination) who chooses his projects sparingly, making his involvement in this Nat Geo project all the more exciting. However, Affleck and Phoenix only have one sort-of-documentary under their belt; they have teamed up with veterans for this project.
Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin are the filmmakers behind 2011's 'Undefeated,' a documentary about an underdog football team who look to reverse their fortunes with coach Bill Courtney. 'Undefeated' won the Academy Award for Best Documentary and Lindsay & Martin have been seeking their next project since their newfound success. What they've selected is this cinema verité documentary which chronicles people’s final days before death, celebrating their lives and legacy through documentary footage, home movies, personal testimonials and interviews with friends and family members.
NatGeo president Howard T. Owens said of the project "This is an incredible (project) documenting people in their last days and tackling the notion of death in an uplifting way." Are you interested in seeing the last days of people's lives and how they face down the unknown?