Michael B. Jordan starred in an Amazon Super Bowl commercial, which didn’t quite make the cut for our list of best ads.
It was still pretty funny though, and now there’s news that Jordan’s partnership with Amazon will extend beyond the Alexa-centric spot.
According to a report from Deadline, Jordan has a new deal in place with Amazon Studios for film and television, with their first centerpiece project focused on one of the most famous athletes of all time.
Jordan, whose Outlier Society TV deal had been at Amazon Studios, has made a new deal that has an exclusive overall pact for television, and a new first look film deal to produce and acquire elevated films that reflect Outlier’s desire to showcase diverse filmmaking talent for Amazon’s growing original movies slate.
At the same time, Jordan and Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke tell Deadline they will turn the life of Muhammad Ali into a limited series that Outlier Society will Executive Produce with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Ali’s estate is also involved. The series is being written by Josh Wakely.
Jordan obviously has experience in the boxing world, as the star of the Creed franchise, but he won’t be acting in this project:
“It’s an incredible honor and I bring tons of respect to it,” he told Deadline in an exclusive interview with Jordan and Amazon’s Salke. “It’s a healthy weight to carry, to be able to tell the story of Muhammad Ali. It’s called The Greatest right now and we’re partnered with Roc Nation on the music side of things. It’s a project where we’ve partnered with the estate and we’ll be able to tell this story with no red tape. It’s a limited series that will really dive into the life of Muhammad Ali.
“I’m not going to be too specific beyond that, but we’ll be able to get to know him in ways we haven’t had a chance to before. I’m really excited about it, as a boxing enthusiast and since this is the world I’ve been living in the past five or six years with the Creed franchise. To be able to honor Muhammad Ali and elaborate on his legacy is something I’m really excited about, and I know Jen and Amazon are as well.”
Ali is certainly fertile ground for filmmakers; When We Were Kings is a tremendous documentary, and Ali certainly had its charms, chiefly a fantastic Will Smith performance at the center. Most recently, 2020’s Oscar hopeful One Night in Miami featured a look at Ali’s role as a societal leader.
That Jordan isn’t playing Ali is unfortunate but understandable; he certainly has the charisma and boxing acumen to capture the role. But it does mean another actor will have a shot to step into Ali’s shoes, which is both enviable and unenviable.
“People know Muhammad Ali from his boxing days, but this is an opportunity to go beyond the ring, and more into the man. It’s going to give more of a 360 degree view of who he was. And no, I’m not playing that guy, I can say that for sure, and we are still in early stages here and can’t say too much. We are still putting the pieces together, but it feels like something to look forward to in the future.”
There’s no release date yet, but this has a shot to be the next in a series of fantastic sports-themed scripted series. (Hi, Ted Lasso!) Jordan’s next Amazon project, Without Remorse, is just a few months away, too.