The mini-series follows four boxers — ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Roberto ‘Hands of Stone’ Durán, Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns and ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler — as they jostle to take the throne following boxing legend Muhammed Ali’s retirement in 1981.
“The Kings” aired on Showtime in June and has already been sold to a range of European broadcasters including Canal Plus in France and Poland, ESPN in Australia, New Zealand and Latin America, Nordic Entertainment Group’s Viaplay streaming service in the Nordic region and the Netherlands, Movistar in Spain, NRK in Norway, DR in Denmark, Channel 1 in Russia and Discovery Plus in the Philippines.
The U.K. is in advanced negotiations for rights to the series, which is directed by BAFTA-nominated Mat Whitecross (“Coldplay: A Head Full Of Dreams”) and produced by Fiona Neilson (“Oasis: Supersonic”).
Box to Box Films’ James Gay Rees (“Amy”) and Paul Martin (“Maradona”) executive produce.
Protagonist’s sales team worked alongside Danny Goldman of Goldridge Media, who consulted on the project.
“It was a huge honor to tell the story of ‘The Kings’ — four of the greatest boxers ever to step inside the ring,” said Whitcross. “Love it or hate it, the sport of boxing speaks to our essential humanity and to the broader conflicts within society and between nations. Through their epic rivalries, these four men came to define their era, the eighties, and embody the dream of America during that pivotal decade.”
Protagonist’s head of sales, Janina Vilsmaier, added: “‘The Kings’ gives viewers a front row seat to the battle of four doggedly determined athletes, as they contend for the mantle of the ‘King of Boxing’ left by one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, Muhammad Ali. Each man’s varied approach to this common goal provides a compelling look at what it takes to rise to the top of one of the world’s most gruelling sports, making it a sure-fire knockout for our international partners.”