Peacock has unveiled a slate of original films, all of which will debut on the service in September.
The NBCU streamer, which launched nationally just over a month ago, will premiere a doc on Harry Belafonte’s brief stint hosting “The Tonight Show,” Emilio Estevez’s pic “The Public,” starring Alec Baldwin, and a doc from NFL star Malcolm Jenkins which celebrates the humanity of Black men and boys.
“The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show” was supposed to launch at the Tribeca Film Festival, but soon after the festival didn’t take place, Variety caught up with the doc’s producers and director Yoruba Richen to talk about the significance of Belafonte hosting, and how it reflects on the current late night landscape.
“It says a lot about the politics of today and where we are,” Richen said. “And that late night is still dominated by white men.”
Peacock’s film slate kicks off Sept. 4 with “Anthony,” a film about 18-year-old Black student Anthony Walker who was murdered in Liverpool in 2005 in a racially motivated attack.
Take a look at the full slate and more detailed descriptions for each film below:
“Anthony” – Premieres Friday, Sept. 4
This drama presents a unique perspective on this devastating crime and the life it took away. Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, Anthony’s imagined life is told through reverse chronology as we see him realize his dreams and enjoy the life he had a right to live, before fate – and hate – took it all away.
It stars Toheeb Jimon as Anthony Walker, Rakie Ayola as his mother Gee Walker, Julia Brown as his wife Katherine and Bobby Schofield as his friend Mick.
“The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show” – premieres Thursday, Sept. 10
From executive producer and MSNBC host Joy Reid and director Yoruba Richen, this is a documentary film that chronicles the seminal event and almost-forgotten moment in American history during which legendary entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte hosted the iconic “Tonight Show” in place of Johnny Carson for an entire week.
Belafonte appears in the film, along with Questlove and Whoopi Goldberg who recount the historic moment.
“Black Boys” – premieres Thursday, Sept. 10
Executive produced by activist and two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins and written and directed by Sonia Lowman, “Black Boys” is a documentary film that celebrates the full humanity of Black men and boys in America. Utilizing conversations and stories around education, criminal justice and sports, the film reveals the emotional landscape of those experiencing racism and invites us to reimagine an America in which Black boys experience true belonging and unlimited possibilities.
The doc features interviews with activist and rapper Vic Mensa, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, two-time Super Bowl champion Greg Scruggs, NFL Hall of Fame inductee Cris Carter, Super Bowl champion Chris Long, award-winning sports journalist Jemele Hill, poet/activist Malcolm London, and former U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. John King Jr.
“A Most Beautiful Thing” – premieres Friday, Sept. 4
This is a documentary film that chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in the nation made up of young men from the West Side of Chicago. Based on Arshay Cooper’s memoir of the same name, the powerful documentary is narrated by Academy and Grammy Award winner Common. NBA stars Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade executive produce along with Grammy Award winner and producer 9th Wonder. The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker and Olympic rower Mary Mazzio.
“The Public” – premieres Thursday, Sept. 15
From writer, executive producer and director Emilio Estevez, “The Public” centers aorund an act of civil disobedience which turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.
The film stars Alec Baldwin, Estevez, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, and Jeffrey Wright.