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Pickleball is getting the documentary treatment.
Producer Ashley Underwood (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) and writer-producer Craig Coyne (Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix) are teaming with Peter Berg’s Film 45 to serve up a nonfiction exploration of one of the fastest growing sports that will be co-directed by Seth Porges and Mary Pilon.
Per intel about the project, the as yet untitled documentary will use access to pickleball’s top leagues, events, players and celebrity fans to “examine the professionalization and commodification” of the sport, one that exploded in popularity amid the pandemic and continues its rise.
Case in point: Just yesterday, NFL legend Tom Brady and tennis champ Kim Clijsters confirmed that they are part of an ownership group for a Major League Pickleball expansion team while CBS revealed final details of Pickled, the two-hour CBS sports comedy special hosted by Stephen Colbert. The latter Nov. 17 event will feature celebrity participants battling it out on the court like Will Ferrell, Max Greenfield, Daniel Dae Kim, Sugar Ray Leonard, June Diane Raphael, Kelly Rowland, Paul Scheer, Aisha Tyler and Emma Watson, among others.
The documentary is said to have been originated by Underwood and Coyne with Film 45 handling the financing. As such, Matthew Goldberg, Michael Antinoro and Max Wagner will serve as executive producers for Film 45. Principal photography is slated to begin in November with WME Independent handling worldwide sales.
Underwood and Coyne are repped by WME and Robert Benun of BenunLaw. Porges, who made his feature doc debut by directing HBO Max’s buzzy Class Action Park about a wildly dangerous amusement park from the back in the day, is repped by CAA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson McGinnis Ryan.
Pilon, known for her first book The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game, is repped by CAA and Gelfman Schneider. Film 45 is an Emmy Award-winning production company creating non-scripted entertainment including documentary, docuseries, live events and branded content. The company is a subsidiary of Endeavor.
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