AceShowbiz - HBO is partnering with NBA star LeBron James and Antoine Fuqua ("Southpaw", "Training Day", "The Magnificent Seven") for a multi-part documentary focusing on the life of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The still-untitled project will include a combination of re-creations and original footage from private collections of the Ali family and others.
The documentary features all of Ali's biggest moments from his beginnings as a scrappy young Kentucky boxer named Cassius Clay, through his public embrace of Islam and famous repudiation of the Vietnam war, through his boxing comebacks and ultimate physical decline from Parkinson's disease, which led to his passing in June 2016.
James says in a statement, "It's tough to put into words how much it means to me to be a part of this project honoring the legacy and telling the extremely important story of the great Muhammad Ali." He adds, "He transcended sports and used his platform to empower people, which paved the way for all athletes and people of every race and gender that came after him, myself included. It's important that his story continues for generations to come, and it's an honor for SpringHill Entertainment and me to be a part of this."
Meanwhile, HBO miniseries' president Kary Antholis says, "Muhammad Ali is indisputably one of the most iconic and distinctive figures in the history of world sports. His impact resonates far beyond the boxing ring and is woven deep into the cultural and social tapestry of the second half of the 20th century. From the moment LeBron James told us of his deep visceral connection to Ali's life and legacy, we were committed to helping him realize this film and our enthusiasm has only grown as Antoine Fuqua has developed his compelling cinematic vision for telling one man's incredible journey."
Fuqua adds, "Muhammad Ali meant many things to many people, and he is someone who had a deep impact on me from an early age. Being given the opportunity to tell his story, both inside and outside of the ring, is a privilege, and a dream come true."
Production on the multi-part feature-length documentary has already started. It is being produced with the full participation of the Ali family estate, coordinated through Jamie Salter. The project marks the first feature-length production for HBO from James and Maverick Carter's SpringHill Entertainment alongside Fuqua's Fuqua Films. Carter, Paul Wachter, Bill Gerber, Salter and Glen Zipper will also exec produce the documentary while Sean Stuart will produce it and Steven Leckart will pen the script.
There is currently no release date for the documentary of the "Greatest of All Time" .