Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never produced by reality TV gurus Magical Elves

Today, a documentary film is being released that will probably be more popular than any other nonfiction film this year, thanks to the legions of crazy Justin Bieber fans who will go to see their teen pop king’s life story, or at least whatever they can see through teary eyes and hear over their own shrieks. The Justin Bieber biopic Never Say Never, which is in 3D so people can actually try to touch him, is directed by Jon Chu and is produced by two people familiar to fans of quality unscripted entertainment: Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth, aka Magical Elves, who Justin thanked at the premiere.

The company tweeted, “the film is amazing. We hope you all check it out this weekend and become ‘Beliebers.’” From anyone else, that’d make me laugh, but they’ve certainly proven themselves with unscripted TV. And Cutforth told Variety that has given them experience that helped with this film: “Tom Colicchio has this type of following. It’s just with middle-aged women,” he joked.

Director John Chu discussed making the film with Movieline, and it’s an interesting read, because he talks about hanging around Justin and trying to get him to open up. He also talks about a segment that gives viewers a sense of what it’s like to have millions of crazed fans.

The film, which is described as “the inspiring true story and rare inside look at the rise of Justin from street performer in the small town of Stratford, Ontario to internet phenomenon to global super star culminating with a dream sold out show at the famed Madison Square Garden in 3-D.,” has mixed reviews from film critics, though some say that even haters might like the film. The Boston Globe’s Wesley Morris calls it “extremely watchable” and says filmmakers “[have] been permitted to present enough of the Bieber process and enterprise to be intriguing.”

Watch the trailer:

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.