Frank Marshall, Peter Berg, Mandalay Sports Team for Olympic Channel Docs
The 'Patriots Day' helmer will direct the first film, which will focus on iconic Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson.
Frank Marshall, Peter Berg and Mandalay Sports Media are ready to carry the torch for the Olympic Channel.
The Jurassic World producer and Mandalay Sports are teaming to create a signature documentary series for the global digital platform, while Berg will direct the first film, which will focus on iconic Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, a three-time Olympic gold medalist who famously turned down $5 million to fight Muhammad Ali, and coach Alcides Sagarra Caron.
Dubbed Five Rings Films, the five-episode series will launch in 2017, with each hourlong part showcasing stories from the modern Olympic era.
The move reflects Olympic Channel’s mandate to create content that connects fans to the Games all year round.
Berg (Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day) filmed his episode in Havana and the United States, and the documentary will include exclusive access to Cuba’s sporting complex during its moment of historic change.
Marshall, whose producing credits include the Indiana Jones movies and this year’s awards-season hopeful Sully, is no stranger to the sports doc world, having brought Lance Armstrong pic The Armstrong Lie to the screen. He will executive produce alongside Mandalay’s Mike Tollin. Mandalay’s executive vp, Jon Weinbach and Olympic Channel senior 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 Olympic Channel general manager Mark Parkman. “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.”
Added 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.”
Though the four remaining subjects have yet to be announced, Five Rings Films will spotlight athletes who have made an impact beyond sports, in realms ranging from politics to the environment to social justice. Additional subjects and directors for the series will be announced in the coming months.
”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.”
Launched this year, Olympic Channel is a multiplatform digital outlet that features original programming, news, live sports events and highlights.