COVID has affected nearly every industry across the board, but The Day Sports Stood Still will give us a glimpse in the cultural repercussions of a world without sports entertainment, even for a brief window. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the feature-length documentary will touch on the sudden stop in sports entertainment, how athletes became more involved in the racial injustices of America, and the extremely complicated return to their respective fields and arenas in the fall of 2020.
The documentary will release sometime in 2021, and will be available on both HBO and HBO Max. It's to be produced by Brian Grazer and Executive Produced and Starring NBA All-Star Chris Paul.
Full press release:
HBO Sports, Imagine Documentaries and Fuqua Films are in production on THE DAY SPORTS STOOD STILL, a feature-length documentary that tells the story of the unprecedented sports shutdown in March of 2020 and the remarkable turn of events that followed. Emmy®-winning director Antoine Fuqua (HBO’s “What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali”) will chronicle the abrupt stoppage, athletes’ prominent role in the cultural reckoning on racial injustices that escalated during the pandemic and the complex return to competition in the summer and fall. From producers Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes, along with Fuqua, the film debuts next year and will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.
At the center of the film will be the first-person account of NBA All-Star and NBA Players Association president, Chris Paul. An executive producer on the project, Paul, the point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will relive his entire experience from being in the middle of the first game to be stopped on March 11, 2020 against the Utah Jazz, to suddenly living in quarantine, to his crucial role in helping re-open the NBA safely to playing in “the bubble.”
Featuring additional in-depth and emotional interviews largely conducted remotely, the documentary captures a broad swath of voices and experiences exploring how the pandemic pressed pause on their careers, but also changed their lives in dramatic and surprising ways. The film features everyone from an NFL Super Bowl champion who volunteers in the ER, to a defending WNBA champ who decides to sit out the 2020 season to focus on protesting racial injustice.
“Last March when the NBA announced they were postponing the season, Chris Paul and I spoke and he said to me “we have to document this.” Antoine was our next call and days later, we started filming. We knew this was a unique story, but no one could have predicted the emotional twists and turns that came with bringing the game back,” said Brian Grazer. “It’s been an incredible journey and a point in history that none of us will forget.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Brian, Chris and HBO Sports on this special project,” said Antoine Fuqua. “We are excited to chronicle the history making events that occurred in the sport’s world during these unprecedented times.”
“It is an unbelievable opportunity to be able to work with Brian and Antoine to tell the collective story of the sports world over the last few months,” said Chris Paul. “Brian had called me while I was still in the locker room that fateful night on March 11 and from there, we have been working to give the audience a deeper look into this momentous time in history.”
THE DAY SPORTS STOOD STILL is an HBO Sports presentation of a film by Imagine Documentaries and Fuqua Films in association with Waffle Iron Entertainment and Ohh Dip!!! Productions; Directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua. For Imagine Documentaries: producers Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes; executive producers Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein, and Marc Gilbar. For Ohh Dip!!! Productions, executive producer Chris Paul.
Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.
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