Oscar-winning British production company Passion Pictures is teaming up with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and filmmaker Richard Curtis on a new feature documentary about the Paralympic Games. The project, currently titled “Harder Than You Think,” brings together Passion’s John Battsek with producer Greg Nugent of HTYT Films, with Broccoli and Curtis both serving as executive producers.
Directed by the BAFTA-nominated filmmakers behind “McQueen,” Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, “Harder Than You Think” sets out to tell the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games from its post-war inception to becoming the world’s third-largest sporting event. U.S. Paralympian Tatyana McFadden and former International Paralympic Committee CEO Xavier Gonzalez will also serve as executive producers alongside Broccoli and Curtis.
The film will blend never-before-seen archive footage with the extraordinary stories of modern-day athletes, leaders and visionaries. Bonhôte and Ettedgui said the film intends to take audiences on “a visceral rollercoaster ride that reflects the many hurdles, disasters and triumphs that the Paralympic movement has faced on its epic journey from a minor English tournament to this massive global event.”
“It’s a story that inspires and challenges us as filmmakers, and we look forward to opening the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere to some of the most astonishing human and sporting stories you will ever experience,” the directors said.
Prince Harry, who created and serves as patron of the Invictus Games for wounded and sick armed service personnel and veterans, is among participants who have already been interviewed for the production, which is currently underway. Other participants include renowned Paralympians Jonnie Peacock, Jean Baptiste Alaize, Beatrice “Bebe” Vio, Shingo Kunieda, Daniel Dias, and McFadden.
The film is scheduled to be completed in time for release ahead of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, which run from Aug. 25-Sept. 6 next year.
HTYT Films is financing the project and holds global rights, granted by the International Paralympic Committee.
“The opportunity to bring the remarkable story of the Paralympic movement to a worldwide audience, working alongside a world-class creative team in Ian and Peter, and with the involvement of Greg Nugent and such an elite group of executive producers, is both an honor and a privilege,” said Battsek.
Passion Pictures has twice won the Academy Award for best documentary feature, for 2012’s “Searching for Sugar Man” and for 1999’s “One Day in September,” about the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage crisis.