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HBO documents Covid sports shutdown

US cablenet HBO’s sports arm has linked with producers Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes for a documentary feature about the pandemic-enforced shutdown of sports earlier this year.

Brian Grazer

The Day Sports Stood Still will debut in early 2021 and 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 sporting action.

At the centre of the film will be the first-person account of NBA All-Star and NBA Players Association president Chris Paul, who is an executive producer on the project via Ohh Dip!!! Productions.

Paul will relive his experience from being in the middle of the first NBA game to be stopped on March 11 and suddenly living in quarantine to his crucial role in helping re-open the NBA safely and playing in “the bubble.”

The feature-length doc is currently in production with HBO Sports, Imagine Documentaries and Fuqua Films in association with Waffle Iron Entertainment and Ohh Dip!!! Productions.

It is directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua, with Grazer and Wilkes producing for Imagine Documentaries. The executive producers are Ron Howard, who co-founded Imagine Entertainment with Grazer, plus Sara Bernstein and Marc Gilbar.

“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,” said Grazer.

“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. It’s been an incredible journey and a point in history that none of us will forget.”

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