HBO Sports has boarded Imagine Documentaries and Fuqua Films feature documentary The Day Sports Stood Still about the unprecedented sports shutdown in March of 2020 and the remarkable turn of events that followed.
Emmy-winner Fuqua will direct the film chronicling the abrupt stoppage, athletes’ prominent role in the cultural reckoning on racial injustices that escalated during the pandemic and the complex return to competition in the summer and fall.
From producers Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes, along with Fuqua, the film debuts next year and will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.
At the center of the film will be the first-person account of NBA All-Star and NBA Players Association president, Chris Paul. An executive producer on the project, Paul, the point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will relive his entire experience from being in the middle of the first game to be stopped on March 11, 2020 against the Utah Jazz, to suddenly living in quarantine, to his crucial role in helping re-open the NBA safely to playing in “the bubble.”
Featuring additional interviews largely conducted remotely, the documentary will include a broad swath of voices and experiences exploring how the pandemic pressed pause on their careers, but also changed their lives. According to producers, those voices will include an NFL Super Bowl champion who volunteers in the ER and a defending WNBA champ who decides to sit out the 2020 season to focus on protesting racial injustice.
“Last March when the NBA announced they were postponing the season, Chris Paul and I spoke and he said to me “we have to document this.” Antoine was our next call and days later, we started filming. We knew this was a unique story, but no one could have predicted the emotional twists and turns that came with bringing the game back,” said Brian Grazer. “It’s been an incredible journey and a point in history that none of us will forget.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Brian, Chris and HBO Sports on this special project,” commented Antoine Fuqua. “We are excited to chronicle the history making events that occurred in the sport’s world during these unprecedented times.”
“It is an unbelievable opportunity to be able to work with Brian and Antoine to tell the collective story of the sports world over the last few months,” added Chris Paul. “Brian had called me while I was still in the locker room that fateful night on March 11 and from there, we have been working to give the audience a deeper look into this momentous time in history.”
The feature is an HBO Sports presentation of a film by Imagine Documentaries and Fuqua Films in association with Waffle Iron Entertainment and Ohh Dip!!! Productions; executive producers are Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein, and Marc Gilbar. For Ohh Dip!!! Productions, executive producer is Chris Paul.
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