On July 20, 2021 history was made in the NBA when the Milwaukee Bucks won a championship title. That was the day the two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis joined their sibling Kostas, and became the first trio of brothers to become NBA champions. The road to this achievement was certainly not an easy one, and that journey is what sets up the foundation for the new movie Rise.
Growing up, the Antetokounmpo siblings had their share of uphill battles. The Nigerian-born children emigrated to Greece with their family and struggled financially, while constantly living under the threat of deportation. However, even in the face of hardships, the three young men found the determination and dedication to learn the sport of basketball and become the stars they are today.
Given their success in the league, it seems only right that the world is treated to a film documenting their remarkable journey.
Here’s everything we know about Rise.
When is the Rise release date?
Rise premiered in the US and in the UK on Friday, June 24 on Disney Plus.
Rise has a runtime of one hour and 53 minutes.
Rise has been rated PG in the US.
Disney describes the Rise plot as the following:
"After emigrating to Greece from Nigeria, Vera and Charles Antetokounmpo struggled to survive and provide for their five children, while living under the daily threat of deportation. With their oldest son still in Nigeria with relatives, the couple were desperate to obtain Greek citizenship but found themselves undermined by a system that blocked them at every turn.
When they weren’t selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, encouraged by their father, the brothers would sneak away to play basketball with a local youth team. Latecomers to the sport, they discovered their great abilities on the basketball court and worked hard to become world-class athletes. With the help of an agent, Giannis entered the NBA Draft in 2013 in a long-shot prospect that would change not only his life but the life of his entire family."
Just to add, Giannis, who serves as an executive producer, spoke of the film and stated:
"I am thrilled and honored that Disney Plus is bringing my family’s story to people all over the world. My hope is that it will inspire those in similar circumstances to keep the faith, stay true to their goals and not to give up on striving for a better life."
In a special casting choice, real-life brothers Uche Agada and Ral Agada star as Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Rise marks the first major acting jobs for the pair. Additionally, here’s a fun fact. According to Disney (opens in new tab), Uche was actually working at a WaWa drive-thru when he saw Giannis’ casting call on Instagram for someone to play him in a movie.
Taking on the roles of the other Antetokounmpo brothers Kostas and Alex are novice actors Jaden Osimuwa and Elijah Sholanke. Also joining these young actors as the patriarch and matriarch of the Antetokounmpo family are Dayo Okeniyi and Yetide Badaki. Okeniyi has previously starred as Oloman in the Apple TV Plus series See and as Paul in the Hulu film Fresh. Badaki portrayed Bilquis in the Starz show American Gods and Chi Chi in the sentimental smash-hit This Is Us.
We love a feel-good story about overcoming "impossible" odds.
Directing Rise is Akin Omotoso. While he doesn’t have many mainstream directing credits to his name, he has directed several smaller-budgeted TV series and films. A standout project on his resume would be the Beyoncé film Black is King, on which he served as a producer.
How to watch Rise
Rise is a Disney Plus Original film. Those wanting to watch the movie will need to have a subscription to the streaming service, which you can get with just a few clicks. If you’re interested in sports and “traditional” Disney content, then you may want to check out the Disney Bundle which includes Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu.
Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities. When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The Crown, WandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of Harlem. And a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.
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