Dio: Dreamers Never Die, a career-spanning documentary about heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio, will come to theaters worldwide for two days only Sept. 28 and Oct. 2 via BMG and Trafalgar Releasing.
The documentary follows Dio’s unlikely rise from a ’50s doo-wop crooner to frontman of some of the most formidable and influential outfits in metal, including Rainbow, Black Sabbath (where he replaced Ozzy Osbourne) and his namesake Dio. He died of stomach cancer in 2010 at age 67.
Executive produced by his widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio, the film includes never-before-seen footage, as well as interviews with bandmates and colleagues Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Glenn Hughes, Vinny Appice, Lita Ford, Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Eddie Trunk and Jack Black.
The clip below details how Dio, after being hurt that he and none of his fellow metal musicians were invited to participate in the 1985 superstar charity recording effort “We Are the World,” put together Hear ‘N Aid, a collaboration featuring heavy metal legends that similarly raised money for famine relief.
“Every single musician that made it in the ‘80s, we grew up listening to Ronnie, so anytime he would say, ‘Listen, I need you guys,’ we’d say, ‘Yes, we’re there,’ because we wanted to be like him,” says Quiet Riot’s Rudy Sarzo of Hear ‘N Aid. “He was a hero to all of us.”
In the exclusive clip below, Wendy Dio and photographer Gene Kirkland describe the harrowing photo session that inspired the provocative cover artwork of a drowning priest in chains for Dio’s now iconic 1983 album Holy Diver. “We both wanted to push the edges, and the record company were not that happy about it, but we got this idea — we know what we want,” Wendy Dio recalls. Photographer Kirkland remembers the photo session turning into a recovery mission.
Dio: Dreamers Never Die was financed by BMG, directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton (Framing John DeLorean, Believer, Last Days Here), produced by Argott and Sheena Joyce for 9.14 Pictures, and executive produced by Wendy Dio for Niji Productions and Kathy Rivkin Daum for BMG.
“People who have conviction, talent and heart like Ronnie James Dio are in short supply these days,” said Argott and Fenton in a statement. “It is refreshing to share his inspiring story of believing in yourself and chasing your dreams. As lifelong Dio fans, it is incredibly humbling to bring Ronnie’s journey to the screen and we can’t wait to share it with audiences.”
Premieres will be held in Los Angeles and London. The two-day cinema run will also include outtakes available only to the theatrical audience. Tickets for Dio: Dreamers Never Die go on sale Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. ET at DioDreamersNeverDie.com. Word on the post-theatrical run is forthcoming.
Rhino/WMG will release the soundtrack from Dio: Dreamers Never Die in the fall.