Netflix Sets Frank Marshall-Directed Documentary ‘Rather,’ About the Career of TV News Icon Dan Rather, for Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix has set “Rather,” the documentary about veteran journalist Dan Rather’s landmark career in news for an May 1 April 24 premiere on the streamer. (The date has now been changed to reflect Netflix’s decision to move the launch by a week.) The feature utilizes the story of Rather’s life on television to also explore the evolution of broadcast journalism, the troubles a free press now faces, along with the slide of American society from hard-fought advances in social justice and democratic freedoms.

Frank Marshall directed “Rather,” which comes from Wavelength and Original Productions, in association with Anchor Entertainment and The Kennedy/Marshall Company. The doc first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last June.

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With unrestricted access to Rather, the film takes on the highs and lows of his time at CBS News, including his controversial exit as “CBS Evening News” anchor. It features longer cuts and outtakes of clips such as Rather on the ground in Dallas moments after President Kennedy is assassinated; getting roughed up during the 1968 Democratic National Convention; making it into China as the only anchor in Tiananmen Square before the crackdown on protesters.

There’s also early footage of Rather in the deep South, covering the Civil Rights Movement under constant danger, as well as the dramatic Vietnam War images of Rather dodging bullets while crouching and reporting in the middle of a gunfight. It also highlights Rather’s post-CBS career, including his reinvention as an outspoken commentator on social media. Interviewees include Rather’s daughter, Robin, as well as colleagues such as former CBS News president Susan Zirinsky and other notable figures from the world of broadcast news.

“This is a very personal project for me,” Marshall said in a statement. “When you look at Dan’s body of work, it’s remarkable. The collection of stories he has covered, it’s my history too, and the history of our country over the past 60 years. I’ve always admired his passion, his intelligence, his humor and his commitment to the truth and it’s been an honor to get to know Dan and tell his extraordinary story.”

Next up, Rather is set to attend a screening in his hometown of Austin, Texas, on April 22 at the Alamo Drafthouse. Both Rather and Marshall will join Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League for a Q&A.

“Watching ‘Rather,’ I saw a North Star of what American journalism is meant to be, driven by a thirst for the truth and the desire to share that truth with the people,” League said. “We are honored to have the opportunity to screen this wonderful film and honor a true American hero.”

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