#MuhammadAli was undeniably one of the greatest of all time, and while his life after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease was a quiet one, there is no questioning just how impactful the man was.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers star and co-founder of SpringHill Entertainment, announced he will executive produce a multi-part documentary about the legendary boxer, to be aired on HBO.
"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," James said in a statement. "It's important that his story continues for generations to come."
Ali has been cited by many as an inspiration, including film star Will Smith, who played the man in the biopic Ali, and was nominated for an Academy Award for the portrayal. For his part, James has already demonstrated his interest in seeing Muhammad Ali's legacy continue, as he had already pledged a whopping $2.5 million to an exhibit on the legendary boxer for the Smithsonian Institution.
According to HBO, the documentary is likely going to be one of the more cinematographically appealing documentaries on the boxer, as the docu-series will “combine archival footage and gorgeous, cinematic recreations that will transport viewers into the ring and at home."
This will not be the first documentary to take a look at the life of the larger than life boxer, as there have been several documentaries about Ali over the years, including When We Were Kings, the Academy Award winning documentary about the famous "Rumble In The Jungle" between Ali and then-heavyweight champ George Foreman in Zaire. Ali was the heavy favorite in the matchup; he'd built popular appeal with the people of Zaire and compared to Foreman was much loved by them, which no doubt helped during the matchup.
Ali's wife Lonnie is very supportive of further efforts to support and continue her late husband's memory, according to the statement from HBO about the James-produced documentary.
“We are at a perfect time in history, and in our lives as Americans, to welcome this special documentary on Muhammad,” she said. "This documentary will have national and global appeal. 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 74. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua is slated to direct the documentary.