Whether it’s music, movies, or television, one of the most fascinating aspects about pop culture can be the history behind the scenes. Starting in 2018, AMC is giving us a chance to take a peek behind the curtain to hear some of the untold stories of pop culture genres from the masters themselves in a year-round documentary series called “AMC Visionaries.” Although they only have working titles at the moment, viewers can look forward to “Eli Roth’s History of Horror,” hosted by the award-winning film director, writer, producer, and actor Eli Roth himself, and “AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook,” executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of the Grammy® Award-winning hip-hop band The Roots.
“Eli Roth’s History of Horror” will aim to bring together some of the storytellers and stars who define the genre to explore the themes, inspirations, and struggles of horror’s past and present. It’ll take viewers on an hour-long journey through horror influencing and being influenced by an ever-changing society and into the minds of loyal fans who are addicted to the thrills these films provide. Roth himself said “I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible series. For years, I’ve wanted to create a definitive ‘History of Horror,’ a living record of the genre with interviews from all the greats, old and new,” and hopes that “This show will serve as a record for future generations” to remember the masters we lose every year along with their stories and experiences.
“Rap Yearbook,” which is based on Shea Serrano’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name, will aim to put some of the most important moments and songs in hip-hop history under the microscope in order to debate and deconstruct them. This series will tell the story of one key song each episode with the help of a special guest MC and a group of legendary rap artists, music experts, and other key contributors in order to give viewers a deeper understanding of its history and meaning. The audience can expect to see the streets, the airwaves, and the lives of the musicians intermingle to make hip-hop one of the most important and influential music genres in the world. “Questlove” and “Black Thought” expressed their enthusiasm for the project, saying “We are really excited to create this thought-provoking series with AMC and Jigsaw Productions. We are just beginning to enter the film and television content creation space in a big way and to have ‘Rap Yearbook’ as one of our first projects greenlit to series, and AMC and Jigsaw as our partners, it’s an amazing way to launch our production company. This will be a great journey.”
In addition to these two six-part series, some other previously announced series will be falling under the “AMC Visionaries Banner.” This includes “Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics” featuring interviews with comic greats such as Stan Lee, Patty Jenkins, Lynda Carter, Kevin Smith, Famke Janssen, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Rodriguez and Todd McFarlane as well as “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction” with notable guests like Paul W. Anderson, Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Bryan Singer, Keanu Reeves and Jonathan Nolan. Alongside these star-studded projects, AMC also has Visionaries series about the history of video games, the outlaws of the Internet, and the history of martial arts on the horizon. While the variety of subjects that these series will cover is great enough that just about anyone can find a documentary about one of their favorite genres, it also aims to plumb their depths. Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV, and AMC Studios, promises that “‘AMC Visionaries’ is all about going deep into areas of fan passion.”
Whatever your passion is, keep an eye on AMC’s 2018 lineup to learn about the men and women who make it all possible.