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Over the years, a lot of people aged 14-24 have considered Jim Morrison to be a rock god, and it’s usually a phase that people grow out of, realizing that Morrison’s larger-than-life persona far outweighed and was indeed a hindrance to his musical output. Perhaps he would have also outgrown his own notoriety had an early death at 27 not occurred, essentially cementing his legacy. A new documentary looks to dilute the effect the semi-biographical fever dream that was Oliver Stone’s The Doors has on people previously unfamiliar with Morrison and/or Stone.
Deadline reports Z-Machine Productions has started production on Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age, which will keep its focus on Morrison’s life before the Doors, grounding him as a creative young man instead of a rock star. The company’s previous feature, Strange Septembers: The Hill Abduction & The Exeter Encounter concerned itself with the two most credible UFO encounters in U.S. history, but we won’t let that cloud our judgment.
To achieve the narrative depth that an undertaking like this calls for, the filmmakers conducted interviews with Morrison’s family and friends, many of whom have never spoken publicly about him before. The noted interviewees will include brother Andy Morrison, Doors roadie Gareth Blyth, his FSU roommate Bryan Gates, and his UCLA film instructor, among others. Informing their story off the record are hours of interviews with sister Anne Morrison-Chewning, good friend Alain Ronay and two of his first serious girlfriends Tandy Martin and Mary Werbelow.
Beyond that even, many never-before-seen photos from Morrison’s youth will be featured, as well as old home movies. The press release states “Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age will shed new light on the artist’s early life, and his mysterious death at age 27.” It’s unclear how any of this will affect how his death is seen, but death is never the most important part of a person anyway. It will be interesting to see if he refers to himself as the “Hatchling King.”