HBO doc about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds to be released in January
The sudden deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds one day apart shook Hollywood and the mother-daughter duo’s widespread fan base. Both women were film icons with careers spanning decades, and people immediately took to social media to explain how the women helped shape their lives. Now, the world will get to see a little bit more of them in HBO’s documentary about Fisher and Reynolds set to air Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET.
Bright Lights, directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, was originally supposed to hit the screen in March, but was moved up following the terrible news. It debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May and got positive reviews, including The Hollywood Reporter calling it “a tender tribute to two iconic women whose Hollywood history spans from ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ through ‘Star Wars’ and whose intimate connection is no less singular.”
The doc will showcase the work and home lives of both women, as well as show some of the family’s home movies. Most of the new footage was filmed last year. HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins told Variety, “It’s life with Carrie and Debbie. It’s about both of them trying to stand upright, both having their frailties — age on the one hand and mental illness on the other. It’s a love story about a mother and daughter — they happen to be Carrie and Debbie.”
The mother and daughter lived next door to one another in Beverly Hills, and the film documents their close relationship. Nevins told Variety, “Carrie wanted to make ‘Bright Lights’ for Debbie and Debbie wanted to make it for Carrie.”
Fisher died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles, and Reynolds died the next day of a stroke, according to the family. “She missed her daughter and wanted to very much be with her,” Reynolds’ son, Todd Fisher, told ET. “[There was] enormous stress on her, obviously. And this morning she said those words to me and 15 minutes later she had a stroke and virtually left.”
HBO will also air Fisher’s one woman show, Wishful Drinking (currently on HBO Go), Jan. 1 at 9 p.m. ET.