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Netflix orders Malcolm X, Ali doc

Netflix has commissioned a documentary about Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali featuring never-before-seen archival footage.

Marcus A Clarke

Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali will be “the definitive documentary” about two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, according to the global streamer.

Inspired by the book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, written by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith, the feature-length documentary will be directed by Marcus A Clarke.

It comes after Clarke directed three of the six instalments of Netflix’s documentary series Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 1, as well as three episodes of Netflix docuseries Rapture.

It will be produced by Lightbox, which was founded by two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) and Emmy Award-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (LA 92, Whitney).

The producers are Kenya Barris, who is also producing an upcoming documentary on civil rights attorney Ben Crump for Netflix, and Jason Perez. The executive producers are Erynn Sampson for Khalabo Ink Society, Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn for Lightbox, and Simon George.

George previously produced Age of Samurai and History 101 for Netflix, Pariah: The Lives and Deaths of Sonny Liston for Showtime and Noel Gallagher: Out of the Now for Sky Arts.

Clarke said: “So little is known about this crucial friendship between Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Blood Brothers provides a deeper understanding into what made these two men tick, the intense role faith played in their bond and ultimately how their budding friendship came to an abrupt end.”

Earlier this week, Netflix told its shareholders as part of its earnings report for the second quarter of 2021 that its continued expansion into non-fiction series is going well.

Netflix pointed to true crime docuseries The Sons of Sam, which it said has been watched in 19 million households in the 28 days since it launched, as one of its recent hits.

Netflix also confirmed it will move into gaming having experienced a slowdown in subscriber growth in the past quarter, with subscription losses in North America.

The global streamer, which recently hired gaming industry veteran Mike Verdu as VP of game development, said it will soon offer its subscribers games based on its series and movies, with an initial focus on games for mobile devices.

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