BMG, Warner Music Entertainment, Fremantle Documentaries announce Devo feature film

Film is currently in production

BMG, Warner Music Entertainment and Fremantle Documentaries have teamed for a feature film on Devo. The upcoming full-length documentary will also be the first-ever fully authorized film on the new wave group.

Currently in production, Devo chronicles the story of the band Devo, from their formation in the aftermath of the Kent State massacre, through their years as politically driven outsiders, into their surprising turn to the top of the charts with their breakout hit, “Whip It.”

Produced by Vice Studios and Library Films in association with Mutato Entertainment, Devo is directed by Chris Smith (“Sr.”, American Movie, Fyre, Tiger King, 100 Foot Wave) and produced by Anita Greenspan and Chris Holmes for Mutato Entertainment. Executive producers are William Kennedy, Stuart Souter, and Kathy Rivkin Daum for BMG, Mandy Chang (Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Writing With Fire, The Fourth Estate, Welcome to Chechnya) for Fremantle Documentaries, and at Warner Music Group, Charlie Cohen for WME and Mark Pinkus for Rhino Entertainment.

Bertelsmann companies BMG and Fremantle Documentaries, and WME are executive producers and financiers of the film, with all rights available worldwide.

Forming in 1973, Devo banded together initially as performance artists, disillusioned and radicalized by the shooting at Kent State where they were students. Their artistry was a commentary on corruption in the United States, the perceived “dumbing down” of an entire generation by mass media, and the commodification of a poisoned society.

With a mixture of archival footage, interviews from other characters in their orbit and a range of storytelling techniques the film’s inventive narrative will parallel the revolutionary creativity the band is known for. Ultimately, Devo explores the group’s evolution from hippie artistes to art-rockers with a message, to their unexpected mainstream success as a hit rock band and the pioneers of the MTV age.

“Devo was a huge influence on me,” shares director Chris Smith. “Their approach to music, film, video and art was something I had never seen before and was one of the truly formative artistic influences that showed me there were entirely new ways to look at things.”

BMG’s recent films include the highest-grossing documentary film of 2022, Moonage Daydream (HBO Max); Dio: Dreamers Never Die (Showtime), and two upcoming feature-length documentaries including one on award-winning singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now (Netflix); and Sundance selection Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis), distributed by Utopia and helmed by acclaimed filmmaker Anton Corbijn.

Warner Music Entertainment’s latest projects include Love, Lizzo (HBO Max), American Masters: Roberta Flack (PBS), and Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers (YouTube Originals).

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: