Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds bills itself as a “story of the family’s complicated love,” and promises “an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty in all its eccentricity” and the nearly two-minute trailer shows off exactly that, along with many sweet moments (and witty banter) shared between Fisher and Reynolds.
Directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, the 95-minute documentary was filmed in over more than a year in 2014 and 2015 leading up to Reynolds preparing to receive her Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award — which Fisher presented to her.
Vintage family films and archival footage help bring the documentary to life. Their lives at home in the Beverly Hills compound they shared will be seen extensively in the documentary — as will be the way in which they navigated their careers and close relationship.
“At the one end of the family compound in Beverly Hills lived Debbie Reynolds, star of Singin’ in the Rain, with Dorothy’s red slippers from The Wizard of Oz on the mantelpiece,”Stevens and Bloom tell PEOPLE in the new cover story. The directors shared exclusive written memories with PEOPLE. “Adjacent was Princess Leia, in a house where Bette Davis once lived. You don’t get more Hollywood royalty than that. Storytelling magic lived around them… They had what Carrie called ‘rampant empathy’ for each other.”
“We started out making a film about Hollywood royalty,” they added. “And we ended up making a film about love.”
Fisher, 60, was aboard an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday when she went into cardiac arrest. She died Tuesday in the hospital.
Reynolds died a day later at the age of 84. Her son Todd said she told him hours before she was rushed to the hospital: “I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie.”
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds will debut Jan. 7 (at 8 p.m. EST) on HBO.