Wendy Dio, widow and longtime manager of Ronnie James Dio, spoke to the WSOU radio station about the upcoming career-spanning documentary on the life and times of the legendary rock icon. It is the first documentary about Dio to be fully authorized by the artist's estate. BMG is both financier and executive producer of the film.
"We started working with BMG on that, with these directors that have done quite a lot of things," she said (hear audio below). "And I'm quite happy with them. Of course, everything's on pause now right now [because of the coronavirus pandemic]. But it will go from Ronnie's childhood all the way through [to the end of his life]. I think they interviewed Jack Black, and I think they interviewed all of Ronnie's bandmembers and Doug Aldrich and, I think, Jeff Pilson. They were getting ready to go to Arizona to interview Rob Halford and Lita Ford. And then they were going into England to interview Tony Iommi. They already did Geezer [Butler]. So there will be very interesting stories from different people. I found loads of Super 8 old movies and things, so it will be very, very interesting… I think it'll be a great thing, and it'll show people a lot of things that people have never seen before."
Asked how BMG is planning to roll out the documentary, Wendy said: "Well, we were hoping to take it to [the] Sundance [festival] as a movie. So we are waiting, because, obviously, everything's on hold right now. So we were hoping it would come out early '21. I think it will come out in '21, but I'm not sure exactly when now because of the hold-up. It depends on when they can go back to work. They're sorting through photographs at the moment. I'm still sending them lots of different things for them to sort through. But I think it'll be really a good documentary."
Wendy also offered an update on the long-awaited autobiography of the heavy metal master. Legendary rock journalist Mick Wall is working with Wendy on the book, which was partially written before the singer's death and which was originally scheduled to be published several years ago via MTV Books.
"That is also on hold," she said. "I'm working with Mick Wall, who's quite famous for working with everybody in the industry. If you Google him, you'll see he's done almost everybody, books on everyone. I'm working with him. This will be completely different from the documentary. It will be written in Ronnie's own words, because Ronnie had written up to the end of RAINBOW, and then we found some other stuff after that, little bits and pieces. So we're putting it all together. Mick and I have been very busy looking for interviews during all the different periods of time. And so we'll continue on — we'll finish it and continue on in Ronnie's own words. Ronnie writes up to that point, and then after that, it'll be interviews, so it'll still be his own words of what he's saying at that particular time in his life… The way he writes is very magical, and it's very interesting. The stories he tells are very interesting in the book."
Ronnie James Dio passed away of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67. A few months after his death, MTV Books announced plans to release his memoir, which at the time was going to be called "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography Of Ronnie James Dio".
Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with BLACK SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.