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Fresh off a partnership that produced a number of special comic book covers promoting the College Football Playoffs, ESPN and Marvel Entertainment are joining forces again — and this time, the focus is on real-life superhumans.
Marvel and ESPN Films have partnered for 1 of 1 — Genesis, a full-length documentary, and 1 of 1 — Origins, an accompanying series of shorts, both focusing on some of the world’s greatest athletes, including Russell Wilson, Danica Patrick and Cal Ripkin Jr. Accompanying interviews with the athletes (and additional experts, including psychologist Ellen Winner, author David Epstein and Marvel CCO Joe Quesada), the movies will feature art and animation from Marvel to bring the stories of each subject to life in a new way.
“In many ways, athletes are blessed in their chosen fields with superhuman ‘powers’ much like those of some of the great Marvel superheroes,” ESPN Films vp and executive producer Connor Schell said in a statement. “Like those characters, every great athlete has the moment where they learn to harness, develop and use their unique abilities to achieve. [Director] Eric Drath and his team have done a fantastic job at capturing and bringing to life those origin stories.”
While the Genesis documentary focuses on connections between the athletes and their Marvel counterparts, the Origins series focuses on the “defining story” of individuals’ careers in their chosen sport. “Combining ESPN Films’ unparalleled approach to sports filmmaking with the resonant themes and aesthetics of Marvel has allowed us to assemble a film that will astonish and amaze fans of both worlds,” explained Marvel vp content and programming John Cerilli.
1 of 1 — Genesis is currently available on digital HD through select digital retailers. 1 of 1 — Origins launches this summer on SportsCenter and digital platforms.
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