Audiences who enjoy a good sports movie might find themselves a new one to watch in the coming months as Disney is reportedly coming up with a movie chronicling the life of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a player for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA.
Deadline reports that Walt Disney Studios is making the movie for streaming service Disney+, with the title reportedly being Greek Freak. Nigerian film director Akin Omotoso is slated to direct the feature.
According to the publication, the film will tell Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family's story as they rise out of poverty while living in Greece as undocumented immigrants. The film will highlight the unbreakable bond, determination, and faith that helped the family succeed.
Antetokounepo’s story certainly is movie-worthy. As reported by the BBC, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a difficult childhood in Greece. Born to Nigerian parents who were undocumented immigrants in Greece, Antetokounepo and his brother could not claim Greek citizenship and found it difficult to find enough money to survive in the country.
To survive, Giannis Antetokounmpo, his mother, and his brother sold eyewear, accessories, and other cheap fashion items. His life began to turn around when he was drafted to play for the Filathitikos’ youth basketball team, although his lack of Greek citizenship prevented him from playing higher-profile games.
However, it was enough to catch the NBA's attention, with 29 of its 30 franchises coming to Greece to watch him play. Giannis Antetokounmpo was eventually drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and was recently named the league’s Most Valuable Player for the second time.
Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t the only sports figure that Disney has been courting. A little over three months ago, the studio inked a first-look deal with Colin Kaepernick, which includes a documentary series developed by ESPN Films.
The documentary is reportedly going to cover Kaepernick’s journey to becoming a prominent civil rights activist in the United States after gaining fame as a San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Interviews with Kaepernick, as well as never-before-seen footage, are, reportedly, part of the upcoming documentary, which has journalist Jemele Hill attached as a producer.
The deal also allows Disney units like Walt Disney Television, Pixar, ESPN, Hulu, and The Undefeated to have first-look rights to projects developed by Ra Vision Media. Ra Vision Media is founded by Kaepernick and intends to highlight the work of directors and producers of color.
In a statement, Kaepernick called the deal “historic” while Disney’s executive chairman Bob Iger praised Kaepernick and his unique perspective.
Giannis Antetokounmpo biography
Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo (born December 6, 1994) is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Giannis Antetokounmpo began playing basketball for the youth teams of Filathlitikos in Athens. In 2011, he began playing for the club's senior team before entering the 2013 NBA draft, where he was selected 15th overall by the Bucks. Antetokounmpo's nationality, in addition to his combination of size, speed and ball-handling skills earned him the nickname "Greek Freak".
In 2016–17 Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in all five major statistical categories and became the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in all five statistics of total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He received the Most Improved Player award in 2017. Antetokounmpo has received four All-Star selections, including being selected as an All-Star captain in 2019 and 2020, as he led the Eastern Conference in voting in these two years.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.