According to Variety, Spike Lee is set to direct a new documentary series about Colin Kaepernick for ESPN.
Kaepernick’s partnership with Disney and his production company, Ra Vision Media, first announced the documentary in July 2020. Kaepernick will create scripted and unscripted projects that address racism, social justice, and equity for Disney and all of the company’s platforms, including ESPN, as part of the arrangement.
Former ESPN pundit Jemele Hill will produce the docuseries, which will concentrate on Kaepernick’s transformation from Super Bowl-winning quarterback to blackballed campaigner. Kaepernick was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for six seasons, leading them to Super Bowl XLVII. In 2016, he began kneeling in protest during the national anthem to draw attention to police brutality and institutional racism in the United States. When the season concluded and Kaepernick became a free agent, no NFL team wanted to sign him, so he filed a grievance with the league in November 2017. Two years later, in 2019, Kaepernick and the NFL negotiated a settlement agreement, but he is still a free agent.
“I am excited to announce the historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives. I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing,” Kaepernick previously told reporters.
The picture has now found a director: legendary filmmaker Spike Lee, who is poised to receive the Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts. Lee earned an Academy Award for his screenplay “BlacKkKlansman” in 2019 and has previously directed award-winning documentaries such as “4 Little Girls” (1997) and HBO’s “NYC Epicenters: 9/11-2021½.”
“Kaepernick, who has never given a full, first-person account of his journey, is collaborating closely with Lee who plans to use extensive new interviews and a vast never-before-seen archive to help Kaepernick tell his story from his perspective,” a press release states.
Lee and Kaepernick were seen watching Lee’s favorite New York Knicks lose to the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
Colin in Black & White, a Netflix program he co-created with Ava DuVernay in 2021, chronicles Kaepernick’s childhood.
Lee, an Academy Award winner, previously directed the 2009 film Kobe Doin’ Work, which was based on the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his legendary work ethic. He’s also the executive producer of The Captain, a show on New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter.
The Last Dance, a documentary on Michael Jordan, was released in 2020, while Man in the Arena, a documentary about newly retired NFL player Tom Brady, was released in 2021.
The docuseries will be executive produced by ESPN Films and Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. No release date has been announced by the network.