Ethan Hawke directs CNN Plus doc on JoAnn Woodward, Paul Newman

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A new six-part documentary, directed by Ethan Hawke and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, explores the lives of Hollywood power couple Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, reports ‘Variety’.

CNN Films and HBO Max are backing the series, which will premiere exclusively on CNN Plus, the news network’s subscription streaming service slated to debut later this year. The film will be available later via HBO Max.

Woodward, aged 91, was regarded as one of the last major stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, recipient of multiple awards, and, after the passing of Sidney Poitier, the oldest surviving Oscar winner. Newman, who succumbed to cancer in 2008, was a celebrated actor (he had the distinction of being just one of our actors to be nominated for an Oscar across five decades!), car racing enthusiast, philanthropist and lifelong Democrat.

“They were a Hollywood power couple who chose to live and raise their family in Connecticut, far removed from the centre of moviemaking,” reports ‘Variety’.

“They were box-office draws who remained true to their art, using their celebrity to finance smaller dramas and passion projects. They epitomised glamour and romance for legions of fans, but remained more devoted to social justice and philanthropy than red carpet premieres,” ‘Variety’ adds.

‘The Last Movie Stars’, according to ‘Variety’, uses interviews that were conducted as part of a long-abandoned project that Newman commissioned from friend and screenwriter Stewart Stern.

At Newman’s request, Stern interviewed Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Karl Malden, Sidney Pollack, Gore Vidal, Jacqueline Witte, Joanne Woodward, and others for a planned memoir.

Newman was also interviewed by Stern. They discussed his youth, his first marriage, his romance and life with Woodward, his personal demons, and the shattering loss of his son, Scott, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 28.

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