"We have spent years designing this film to be experienced on the big screen with the best possible sound": That long-awaited Led Zeppelin documentary is finally coming to a cinema near you

Becoming Led Zeppelin logo
(Image credit: Sony Classics Pictures)

More than five years after it was first announced, and two years since it was reportedly completed, the first officially-authorised and endorsed full-length Led Zeppelin documentary has finally found a distributor. Becoming Led Zeppelin has been acquired for release by Sony Classics Pictures, and will get a big-screen theatrical rollout.

“We have spent years designing this film to be experienced on the big screen with the best possible sound,” says film director Bernard McMahon, best known for his 2017 documentary series American Epic.

“Sony Pictures Classics are the perfect partners because they are true believers in the theatrical experience and are passionate about giving the millions of Led Zeppelin fans a chance to see and hear them on the greatest screens and sound systems in the world," adds producer and co-writer Allison McGourty.

A rough cut of the documentary, which features never-before-seen archive film and photographs, as well as state-of-the-art audio transfers of Zeppelin’s music and the music of other artists who shaped their sound, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2021. It is understood that the film has since been updated to include recently discovered footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Bath Festival in 1970.

The footage, which was uploaded to the ledzepfilm YouTube account in 2022, was shot at the Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, where Zeppelin joined a weekend lineup that also featured Canned Heat, Steppenwolf, Pink Floyd, Johnny Winter, Fairport Convention, Jefferson Airplane, Frank Zappathe Moody Blues, The Byrds, Santana, Dr John and many more. Those clips have since been made private. 

No timetable for the film's theatrical release has been given. Teaser footage was released to coincide with the Venice screening (below).

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.