On the heels of the release of Framing Britney Spears and the widespread conversation it ignited, Netflix has announced it will be making its own Britney Spears-focused documentary for its platform. Directed by Samantha Stark, Framing Britney Spears premiered on FX and FX on Hulu on February 5 as one of many installments in the ongoing “New York Times Presents” docuseries. Following its release, Framing Britney Spears became the focus of a variety of discourse threads, including a re-examination of the way female celebrities are treated by the media and the legitimacy of Spears’ conservatorship which is currently overseen by her father, Jamie Spears.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported a new documentary about Spears is in the works from director Erin Lee Carr and, notably, has been in the works long before Framing Britney Spears premiered. Carr is a seasoned director of true crime documentaries and is both an excellent and intriguing name to be attached to a project of this magnitude. Previously, Carr directed the HBO documentaries Mommie Dead and Dearest and I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter as well as an episode of the Netflix docuseries Dirty Money.
It is still unclear what angle Carr‘s documentary will take on Spears. It will be interesting to see where the focus will go, be it solely on the questions and concerns around Spears‘ conservatorship or taking a wider view of the singer’s life, both past and present, as well as the conservatorship. Similarly unclear is whether Carr will be (or has been) granted the opportunity to speak with Spears, her father, or any member of the Spears family — something Framing Britney Spears didn’t manage despite putting out requests for interviews.
Having Carr‘s incisive eye, which has been sharpened through true crime coverage, and sensitivity toward female-focused stories will be of great value for a new Spears documentary. This is especially true when it comes to ensuring this doc can stand apart from Framing Britney Spears. This is certainly not the first time that Netflix and Hulu have gone head-to-head with competing docs on the same subject (see: the Fyre Festival documentaries Fyre Fraud and Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened). What will be important in distinguishing Carr‘s Netflix doc from the FX on Hulu Spears doc is the level of access and the angle it takes on Spears’ current situation.
We’ll keep you posted as Netflix‘s Britney Spears documentary develops. You can watch Framing Britney Spears on Hulu now.