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Netflix Unveils Britney Spears Doc With First Teaser

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter
 2021-09-21
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A new Britney Spears documentary is coming.

Netflix confirmed the rumored film on Tuesday by tweeting an 18-second teaser with an alert that a full trailer will debut tomorrow. Titled Britney vs Spears , the clip features a voicemail left by Spears to a lawyer at 12:29 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2009. “Hi, my name is Britney Spears,” she is heard saying. “I called you earlier. I’m calling again because I just wanted to make sure that during the process of eliminating the conservatorship…”

Documentarian Erin Lee Carr, whose name had been buzzed about for months as being involved, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday afternoon that she directed the project, done in collaboration with the acclaimed team at Story Syndicate, Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan. The Emmy and Peabody-winning pair are executive producing with Amy Herdy ( Allen v. Farrow ) and Jenny Eliscu. Producers include Carr, Sarah Gibson ( At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal ) and Kate Berry.

The audio is striking in that Britney Spears told L.A. Judge Brenda Penny this summer that she was unaware that she could request an end to the conservatorship that she has been living under for 13 years. Since that bombshell testimony, Britney Spears was granted permission during a follow-up hearing to hire her own counsel rather than continue on with a court-appointed attorney, as is common in conservatorship arrangements.

“I just want my life back,” Britney Spears said in June. “It’s been 13 years and it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested.”

The singer hired notable litigator Mathew Rosengart, who acted swiftly in requesting that her father, Jamie Spears, who has had a prominent role in the arrangement, be completely removed from the conservatorship. Rosengart told THR last month: “Britney Spears will not be bullied or extorted by her father. Nor does Mr. Spears have the right to try to hold his daughter hostage by setting the terms of his removal. This is not about him, it is about the best interests of his daughter, which as a matter of law, mandate his removal. Even putting aside the legal issues requiring his prompt removal, if he loves his daughter, Mr. Spears should resign now, today, before he is suspended. It would be the correct and decent thing to do.”

News of the project comes just days after the singer’s father filed a petition on Sept. 7 to terminate it. A hearing on the petition, and other significant issues in the case, is currently set for Sept. 29.

As for Carr, she comes to the Spears project after having worked with Netflix on How to Fix a Drug Scandal and with HBO on I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter, both documentaries that saw her navigating the legal system, courtrooms and delicate subject matter. She’s also well known as the author of the memoir All That You Leave Behind and as the daughter of acclaimed journalist and author David Carr.

Anticipation for the project is already in overdrive. In less than three hours of Netflix posting the teaser on Twitter, it has been viewed more than half a million times. The public’s fascination with the singer’s story — and the swirl surrounding the #FreeBritney movement — have increased dramatically ever since Hulu’s Framing Britney Spears debuted in February, a documentary done in collaboration with FX as part of its The New York Times Presents series.

See the teaser below.

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