Watch: First Look at Upcoming Little Richard Documentary

The real King of Rock has been unveiled in a new trailer for Little Richard: I Am Everything.

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The upcoming documentary about the icon’s life and legacy shines a light on the genre-shaping contributions Little Richard – born Richard Wayne Penniman – made to rock and roll and culture as a whole.

Having premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January, the Lisa Cortés-directed documentary “depicts Penniman’s complex journey as a conflicted revolutionary who careened between religion, sex, and rock ’n’ roll, navigating the extreme tensions of race and sexuality of his time. She reminds us that outsiders and outcasts can possess superpowers that, given the chance, can create new worlds for us all to dance in.”

A production from Magnolia Pictures, the film follows the trailblazing artist and complex character from his roots in Macon, Georgia, to his rise to fame with era-shifting hits like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally (The Thing),” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly.” The documentary goes even further, exploring rock music’s Black and queer origins and the figure who helped to pave the way.

“Little Richard is the true king of rock and roll, the alpha and omega of wild, rhythm-based music,” said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. “Lisa Cortés does the legend proud, getting the true story that celebrates this icon who shook the culture in so many ways.”

A first look at the film, below, goes beyond Richard’s music as it delves into a deeper, unseen side of the legend. Interviews with an array of Black and queer scholars, along with the artists Richard influenced, such as Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, can be found throughout.

Little Richard: I Am Everything will hit theaters for a special screening on April 11 with a wider theatrical release on April 21. It will be available to the public on HBO Max, beginning on that same day.

Check out the trailer below.

Photo by Lester Cohen / Getty Images

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