First-ever band-sanctioned Led Zeppelin documentary shares first official clip

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page performing live in 1970
(Image credit: Jorgen Angel/Redferns via Getty)

An official first-look clip from the debut, band-sanctioned Led Zeppelin documentary, Becoming Led Zeppelin, has been released online after it was shared during the Venice Film Festival on Saturday (September 4).

The all-too-brief, just-under-a-minute trailer comprises a teasing archival montage, splicing together some live show action with footage of a zeppelin, which takes flight before bursting into flames while the film’s title crops up on screen.

Good Times Bad Times serves as a fitting trailer soundtrack, with those mammoth opening chords and chordal flourishes merely building our anticipation for the film.

Per AP News, Led Zeppelin’s own electric guitar legend Jimmy Page was in attendance at the Venice Film Festival and revealed he turned down a handful of “pretty miserable” offers to make a documentary, before partnering with producers Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty.

After appraising the proposed storyboard for the film, the band agreed to the pitch, appreciating the film’s creative direction that places greater emphasis on the music and storytelling interviews.

Said Page, “When we first met we were probably a little nervous of each other. But the conduit was the storyboard. And I thought they’ve really got it, they really understand what it was about.

“This one, it’s everything about the music, and what made the music tick,” he continued. “It’s not just a sample of it with a talking head. This is something in a totally different genre.”

The documentary itself is set to include newly obtained, never-before-seen live show footage, previously unreleased photos, and archival interviews with the late John Bonham, obtained by MacMahon after a year-long search comprising 30,000 unmarked video reels.

Contemporary interviews with the band’s three surviving members – Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones – will also be included in the film, which will focus on the band’s formative years and early career.

It’s the first time we’ve been able to feast our eyes on some Led Zep documentary footage since the project was first announced way back in 2019. An update earlier this year reported that production on the documentary had been completed, though a release date is still yet to be announced.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.