As a huge fan of Jeanie Finlay’s The Great Hip Hop Hoax, her latest music doc, Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, has been one of my most anticipated for a while. You can see my post on its Indiegogo campaign from a year ago as proof of my excitement. Orion is now about to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival and this first brief trailer has arrived via The Hollywood Reporter.
Here is the doc’s synopsis from the Tribeca program guide:
August 16, 1977. All of America was stunned by the news of Elvis Presley’s untimely passing. Some went so far as to believe that it couldn’t be true. Somehow he had faked his death. For the executives at Sun Records that fantasy became an opportunity in the form of Orion, a mysterious masked performer with the voice of The King. First appearing in 1979, Orion recorded 11 albums and performed live to packed houses and rapturous fans around the nation. But who was the man behind the mask?
In this stranger-than-fiction true story, Jeanie Finlay exposes the incredible life of an unknown singer plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight with the complicity of a manipulative music industry and a public fan base unwilling to let The King go. Resonant in its themes of identity, fate, and the double-edged nature of fame, Orion is a stylish mystery story that finally gives a name and a face to a gifted artist who had been unjustly deprived of both.
The premiere screening of Orion: The Man Who Would Be King is this Friday, April 17th, and then it screens three more times over the following week. From there, I hope it finds distribution so I can eventually see it down the line. More than that, I hope it’s as great as The Great Hip Hop Hoax and finds an even bigger audience.