“Becoming Led Zeppelin,” the feature-length documentary about the origins of Led Zeppelin, is still up for sale and its producers are currently hunting for a distributor, according to a film industry document reviewed by LedZepNews.
The film premiered at the Venice and Telluride film festivals in September but no announcement of a release has been made, leading to speculation that the film is being re-edited or has been delayed or possibly withdrawn.
However, LedZepNews has learned that “Becoming Led Zeppelin” has been completed and the film’s producers are still hunting for a distributor to release it.
“Becoming Led Zeppelin” is included in a document titled “UK Films For Sale” produced by UK Film, the UK film industry umbrella group. The document was shared with film distributors at the Cannes Film Festival which takes place on May 17-28 in Cannes, France.
The document was created on May 16, according to its metadata, meaning that “Becoming Led Zeppelin” remains up for sale and its producers are likely using the gathering of film distributors at Cannes to hunt for a way to release it.
The status of “Becoming Led Zeppelin” is listed in the document as “completed,” dispelling speculation that the film may be re-edited following a mixed reception from critics last year.
Several reviews criticised the 137-minute film for being too long. The Hollywood Reporter called the film “an overlong but essential, joyous portrait”.
The Wrap said in its review that “if you’re a diehard fan, you’ll probably glory in what the film delivers and wish there were more of it; if you’re not, you may find yourself power-chorded into submission sometime before the 2-hour and 17-minute running time comes to an end”.
It has been more than 3 years since the film was announced
It was announced in May 2019 that the surviving members of Led Zeppelin had participated in a film about the origins of the band. At the time, the film was in “post-production” meaning filming had already been completed.
LedZepNews reported in April 2020 that the film had the working title of “Apollo” and revealed that it had a runtime of 147 minutes.
And LedZepNews also reported in December 2020 that the film likely uses footage of Jimmy Page performing with The Yardbirds at the Village Theater in New York on August 25, 1967.
In March 2021, LedZepNews reported that the film was also set to use footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Laurel Pop Festival in Maryland on July 11, 1969.
The next official announcement fans had was in August 2021 when the official title “Becoming Led Zeppelin” was shared along with a brief teaser of the film and the news that it would have its premiere at the Venice film festival the following month. LedZepNews reported that month that the film had a final runtime of 137 minutes.
September 2021 saw the release of the sole official trailer of the film, as well as multiple screenings of the film in Venice and surprise screenings in Telluride also. Page attended the Venice film festival to promote the film.
Since then, there has been no news about the film and its eventual release.
However, Robert Plant distanced himself from the film in interviews published in November 2021. He told Vanity Fair that he was only “minorly” involved in its production. “I’m fully aware of all this, but it’s really hard to get romantic about it—despite the fact that it changed my life and allowed me to mature and to move through the sphere. I’m not very good at reminiscing,” he continued.
In a separate interview with Variety published around that time, Plant also said that it’s “very odd … to see a group of people try to bring some perspective to it now,” adding “I’m not sure it’s not just too vast to be solarized and polarized like that.”
LedZepNews reported in February that a production company connected with the film faced being shut down in the UK because it was late filing its accounts. The accounts have since been filed.