Colin Kaepernick’s transition to TV continues with Disney first-look deal
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The former NFL quarterback turned civil rights icon signed an overall first-look deal with Disney to develop scripted and unscripted projects centered on race and social justice, Disney and Kaepernick’s production company, Ra Vision Media announced Monday. The deal will extend across all Disney platforms including Disney Television, ESPN and its website, The Undefeated, which focuses on race in sports, Hulu, and Pixar.
Projects developed from the deal will showcase the work of Black and brown directors and producers, the companies said. The first project in the works is a docuseries charting Kaepernick’s journey from San Francisco 49ers quarterback to civil rights activist. The series will tell the story from Kaepernick’s perspective, utilizing never-before-seen archival footage and new interviews, Disney said. Writer Jemele Hill of The Atlantic, who previously worked at ESPN and The Undefeated, has been brought on as a producer.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
Kaepernick’s project with Netflix is titled Colin in Black & White. The scripted six-part drama chronicles Kaepernick’s years as a high school athlete in Turlock, Calif., and “the acts and experiences that led him to become the activist he is today,” Netflix said.
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said that as the U.S. grapples with the treatment of Black people following the George Floyd protests, “it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin’s voice on his evolution and motivations.”
Disney executive chairman and former CEO Bob Iger said that Disney was committed to creating diverse and inclusive content “during this unprecedented time.
“Colin’s experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture, and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten, and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration,” Iger said.
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