Magic Johnson: Apple TV+ Wins Bidding War for Docuseries About NBA Legend

Magic Johnson
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A highly-anticipated four-part docuseries about NBA icon Magic Johnson is coming to Apple TV+.

The streamer won a fierce bidding battle to land the rights to the series, which will trace Earvin’ Magic’ Johnson’s life on and off the court. The project is helmed by non-fiction studio XTR and A New Slate Ventures, the film financers behind Lee Daniels’ Golden Globe-nominated The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Commonly considered the best point guard of all time, Johnson played 13 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers and was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson shockingly retired in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV; since his retirement, he has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and helped change the conversation around the disease.

The series will document Johnson’s journey from humble beginnings in Lansing, Michigan, to becoming a five-time NBA champion and highly respected community activist. It will feature never-before-seen footage, along with interviews from Johnson and figures from the world of business, politics, and his inner circle.

Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) is set to direct the currently untitled series, with Dirk Westervelt (Ford v. Ferrari) as editor and Rachel Morrison (Black Panther) as cinematographer. XTR and New Slate Ventures will produce in association with H.Wood Media and Delirio Films.

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The series is based on the book, If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige.

This isn’t the only sports-based project Johnson is working on with Apple. The NBA legend has also teamed up with Mandalay Entertainment’s Peter Guber and Oscar nominee Ron Shelton (White Men Can’t Jump) to produce a drama series about Negro League Baseball. Based on a book by Donald Spivey, the series will focus on one of the sport’s greatest pitchers, Leroy “Satchel” Paige.

Untitled Magic Johnson Docuseries, TBA, Apple TV+