The Last Movie Stars— the six-part documentary about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman from director Ethan Hawke— will premiere exclusively on CNN+ and has added Martin Scorsese as an executive producer.
“Exploring Woodward and Newman through their 50-year love affair has proven more rewarding than I could have imagined. Their work, philanthropy, and lives serve as a kind of North Star, illuminating what a substantive, meaningful life can look like,” said Hawke.
The film from CNN Films and HBO Max is partially based on a previously abandoned memoir that Newman commissioned from his friend and screenwriter Stewart Stern. (In a heated auction earlier this year, Knopf won the rights to publish the memoir.) In addition to Newman, Stern interviewed Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Karl Malden, Sidney Pollack, Gore Vidal, Jacqueline Witte, and Woodward.
For The Last Movie Stars, the director has enlisted actors to lend their voices to the original interview transcriptions. Karen Allen, George Clooney, Oscar Isaac, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Zoe Kazan, Laura Linney, and Sam Rockwell will be heard in the film, which comes from Nook House Productions. Hawke, who previously directed doc Seymour: An Introduction, also conducted contemporary interviews with Sally Field, Melanie Griffith, and Scorsese, among others.
After its exclusive debut on the upcoming streaming service CNN+, the film will be available later on HBO Max. “Ethan’s brilliant vision illuminates what fascinates us about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman in a film worthy of their talents and passions,” said Amy Entelis, evp for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.
In addition to Scorsese, Entelis and CNN Films’ Courtney Sexton executive produced. The film is produced by Emily Wachtel and Lisa Long Adler of Nook House Productions, Under the Influence Productions’ Ryan Hawke, and Adam Gibbs, with Mario Andretti co-producing.
Fox Rothschildnegotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, with Cinetic Media advising.