- Monday, Dec. 12, 2016
- LOS ANGELES (AP)
King James is set to tell the story of The Greatest.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James will be the executive producer of an HBO documentary on Muhammad Ali, who died earlier this year. The as-yet-untitled film will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, who also helmed the boxing drama "Southpaw" and "Training Day." Fuqua will also produce.
James has been a longtime admirer of Ali, the boxing great and social activist. James recently pledged a $2.5 donation to a new exhibit on Ali at the Smithsonian Institution.
"It's tough to put into words how much it means to me to be a part of this project honoring the legacy and telling the extremely important story of the great Muhammad Ali," he said. "He transcended sports and used his platform to empower people, which paved the way for all athletes and people of every race and gender that came after him, myself included. It's important that his story continues for generations to come."
James' SpringHill Entertainment, which he co-founded with business partner and close friend Maverick Carter, will produce the multipart film. HBO says the documentary will "explore Ali's greatest triumphs and comebacks, painting an intimate portrait of a man who, against all odds, dreamed and achieved the impossible, over and over again."
HBO said it will combine archival footage with cinematic recreations to tell Ali's story.
Ali's family is also participating in the project, and his widow, Lonnie Ali, was excited about James' involvement.
"This documentary will have national and global appeal," she said. "I'm hopeful this documentary will engage the audience in a similar way Muhammad engaged his audience and fans. Without a doubt, Muhammad's life journey provides simple yet extraordinary lessons for all of us, with perhaps the most important one being, to see and embrace the humanity in all people."
Ali died June 3 at the age of 74.