The Olympic Channel has commissioned Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media to create a signature documentary series for the global digital platform: Five Rings Films (working title) is a five-episode series of documentaries from directors around the world, with Peter Berg set for the first installment.
Set for a 2017 launch, each hour-long doc will showcase “the humanity, variety and achievements of the modern Olympic era,” the channel said in announcing the series today.
Berg (Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day) will direct the first film, about Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, a three-time Olympic gold medallist who famously turned down $5 million to fight Muhammad Ali, and his legendary coach Alcides Sagarra Caron. Filmed in Havana and the United States, the documentary will include exclusive access to Cuba’s sporting complex in a moment of historic change.
Marshall will executive produce with Mandalay Sports’ Mike Tollin. Mandalay Sports Executive Vice-President Jon Weinbach and Olympic Channel Sr. Commissioning Editor Gregory Groggel will serve as co-executive producers.
“Frank Marshall and Mike Tollin are among the world’s greatest storytellers and we look forward to creating high-quality and universally appealing films together,” said Mark Parkman, general manager of the Olympic Channel. “This ambitious new documentary series, with the first episode by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg, continues the Olympic Channel’s efforts in bringing the stories of Olympic heroes to life through our original programming.”
Said Marshall: “The Olympic Games have a rich history of inspiring achievements as well as controversial moments, so I’m very excited to be a part of this new series, which will combine my passion for filmmaking with my passion for the Olympics.”
”It’s a dream scenario to work with a filmmaker like Frank and a treasure trove of Olympic history,” added Tollin. “We can’t wait to start digging through the archives and traveling the globe to bring these amazing stories to life.”
In addition to depictions of iconic individuals and record-breaking teams, the series’ documentaries will spotlight athletes who have made an impact beyond sports, from politics to the environment and social justice. Additional subjects and directors for the series will be announced in the coming months.