The Walt Disney Company Announces Overall First-Look Deal with Colin Kaepernick
ESPN Films to produce an exclusive docuseries on Kaepernick's life as part of overall deal
The Walt Disney Company today announced an overall first-look deal with Colin Kaepernick's production arm Ra Vision Media. The partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity, and will provide a new platform to showcase the work of Black and Brown directors and producers. The first-look deal will extend across all Walt Disney Platforms including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar, and The Undefeated. Kaepernick will work closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of Black and Brown communities.
Bob Iger, Disney's executive chairman, said: "During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Company remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters. 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.
The first project in development as part of this deal is an exclusive docuseries chronicling Kaepernick's journey. Using extensive new interviews and a vast never-before-seen archive that documents his last five years, Kaepernick will tell his story from his perspective. Libby Geist, Kevin Merida and Connor Schell will executive produce for ESPN. Kaepernick has enlisted the help of Jemele Hill, who previously worked for both ESPN and The Undefeated, as a producer on the project. Further details will be announced.
Kaepernick stated: "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 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."
Jimmy Pitaro, president, ESPN, said: "Developing exceptional storytelling told through a wide array of voices is at the core of who we are at ESPN. Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin's voice on his evolution and motivations."
Kevin Merida, SVP and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, stated: "The Undefeated exists at the juncture of race, sports and culture, which is exactly where Colin has often found himself as he has navigated his career and activism. We're looking forward to working with Colin to elevate important stories of lives too often unseen and to deliver them to a vast audience across The Walt Disney Company. We want to continue to call attention to the issues of racial injustice that America is wrestling with, and do that in new, compelling ways."