Colin Kaepernick Signs Deal With Disney
Disney has announced that they have inked a first-look deal with Colin Kaepernick’s Ra Vision Media production company, right on the heels of the Colin in Black and White announcement from Netflix.
Variety reports that the deal involves ESPN Films developing a documentary series on Kaepernick’s journey from being a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers to one of the most prominent civil rights activists in the United States today.
Kaepernick rose to national prominence in the United States back in 2016 after he knelt when the national anthem of the United States was being played. Kaepernick’s kneeling was meant to protest the police brutality inflicted upon African-Americans, which remains an issue until now as shown by the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing.
The upcoming documentary series will cover Kaepernick’s recent life and will have never-before-seen footage as well as recent interviews with the athlete-activist. Journalist Jemele Hill is a producer on the project, while ESPN executives Connor Schell, Kevin Merida, and Libby Geist will executive produce.
With this deal, Disney units like Pixar, The Undefeated, Hulu, ESPN, and Walt Disney Television get first looks at projects developed by Kaepernick’s Ra Vision Media. The projects Ra Vision Media will be developing are expected to focus on social injustice, race, and equity, and will highlight producers and directors of color.
Quoting prepared statements, Forbes says Kaepernick is happy about this “historic partnership.” The athlete-activist said he intends to inspire young people by telling authentic and compelling stories from producers, storytellers, creators, and directors of color.
For its part, Disney’s executive chairman Bob Iger said that they look forward to the resonant, inclusive, and diverse content that Kaepernick and Ra Vision Media will produce. Iger also lauded Kaepernick’s unique perspective which he said will result in more compelling stories.
Kaepernick’s new project joins Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King as a buzzed-about production centered on the Black experience. Black Is King is written, directed, and executive produced by Beyoncé and will feature appearances from some of the artists that took part in The Lion King: The Gift album.
Before this deal, Disney+ rival Netflix announced that they would be producing a six-part series on Kaepernick. Titled Colin in Black and White, the series will explore Kaepernick’s years as a high school quarterback and how that shaped his current activism. The series will have Kaepernick as narrator and executive producer, along with Ava DuVernay and Michael Starrbury.