HBO released the official teaser trailer for the documentary Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss, an intimate, immersive exploration of the all-too-short life and career of wunderkind rapper Juice WRLD. Already headed for superstardom and streaming supremacy by the time he was 18, courtesy of his breakout hit “Lucid Dreams,” Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss captures the Chicago native during the last years of his life as he freestyles with friends, collaborates with music producers, and performs in front of audiences worldwide. The film includes a wealth of never-before-seen footage, including several unreleased tracks, and dozens of industry interviews as it details Juice WRLD’s struggles to reconcile his meteoric rise to fame with underlying mental health issues and a growing dependency on prescription drugs.
Winner of AFI Fest 2021’s Audience Award for Documentary Feature, Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss debuts Thursday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
The film takes an immersive approach to Juice’s universe, attesting to both his youthful genius and his personal demons while revealing a child-like artist torn between the extremes of his lifestyle. Having prophetically rapped and talked openly about dying young, Juice’s heartbreaking battle with opioids is a tragic reminder of the prevalence and dangers of prescription drugs.
Through intimate moments captured by his personal assistant and videographer, Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss highlights Juice’s remarkable gift for freestyling, creating rap verses off the top of his head in a real-time balancing act of craft and stream of consciousness; a prolific songwriter, freestyle was his instinctive way of expression. Including several tracks heard in the film for the first time, the documentary observes almost entire songs both behind-the-scenes and on-stage, witnessing the creative process of the form and his captivating appeal.
Culling from hundreds of hours of footage to craft a portrait of Juice, filmmaker Oliver also widens his scope to feature those that knew and loved the artist, including rappers The Kid Laroi, Polo G, G-Herbo; label head Lil Bibby; music producer Benny Blanco; music video director Cole Bennett; Juice’s mother Carmela; and Juice’s girlfriend Ally Lotti.
Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss offers raw, unmitigated access to a deeply gifted young man, the creative process, and his struggle to navigate the highs of enormous professional success, mental health issues and addiction. Juice WRLD’s legacy as one of the best rappers of his generation stands, yet his full musical potential will remain unknown.
Directed by Tommy Oliver (HBO’s “40 Years a Prisoner”) and executive produced by The Ringer’s Bill Simmons (HBO’s “Andre The Giant,” “Showbiz Kids”),the film concludes the weekly Music Box series, which launched with “Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage,” followed by “Jagged,” “DMX: Don’t Try To Understand,” “Listening to Kenny G,” and “Mr. Saturday Night.”
Watch the official teaser trailer for Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss.