EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic Channel has greenlighted a provocative documentary special from top auspices: Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck; Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, directors of the Oscar-winning 2011 documentary Undefeated; and Scott Free, the company behind NatGeo’s hit factual drama special Killing Lincoln.

The Verité documentary chronicles people’s final days before death, celebrating their lives and legacy through documentary footage, home movies, personal testimonials and interviews with friends and family members.

“This is an incredible (project) documenting people in their last days and tackling the notion of death in an uplifting way,” NatGeo president Howard T. Owens said. Phoenix and Affleck, who previously collaborated on the headline-making 2010 film I’m Still Here, executive produce with Michale Muller through Strawhouse. Jules Daly will produce and David Zucker and Mary Lisio of Scott Free will executive produce, with Lindsay and Martin also producing. Production on the special will begin this spring, with broadcast set for fall 2013.