Basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be the subject of a new feature film documentary from XTR, H.wood Media, NSV and Delirio Films.
The filmmakers say they have been granted “unprecedented access” to the Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, whose dominance on the court helped drive the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships. The film will also rely on archival footage of Johnson, as well as interviews with the superstar, his family, fellow NBA players and business leaders. Directors for the project are currently under consideration. The Johnson doc comes on the heels of ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” a smash hit that followed the career of another basketball great, Michael Jordan. The show finished its run as the most-popular ESPN documentary in history.
Johnson’s life could rival Jordan’s in terms of sheer drama. Not only did Johnson rack up three MVP titles, 12 All Star games and one Olympic gold medal over the course of his career, he became a powerful advocate for HIV/AIDS research, treatment and prevention after announcing in 1991 that he was HIV positive. In retirement, Johnson enjoyed renowned business success as the chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. In that capacity, Johnson launched Magic Johnson Theatres, a nationwide chain of movie theaters that he later sold to Loews Cineplex. Johnson also played a key role in the acquisition of several sports franchises, leading the group that bought the the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and buying a minority stake, which he later sold, in the Lakers.
“In these unprecedented times we need films that celebrate heroes more than ever,” said XTR CEO Bryn Mooser in a statement. “As one of the most legendary, hardworking and resilient public figures of our time, Magic Johnson’s accomplishments both on and off the court are something worth spotlighting to the world and we’re excited to tell that story and work closely with him and NSV to take viewers inside his remarkable journey.”
The documentary is funded by NSV, a media fund run by Jordan Fudge, Jeremy Allen and Zach White that supports diverse and innovative voices across documentaries, narrative film and television. H.wood Media’s John Terzian and Brian Toll, and XTR have joined as partners along with Delirio Films.
“Growing up, we viewed Magic Johnson not only as an NBA Legend, but as a man who transcended the sport and became one of the most celebrated and accomplished businessmen of our lifetime,” said NSV partners Fudge and Allen. “We are honored that we are able to assist in bringing to life the story of a man who has opened so many doors and inspired millions.”