One of the many notable projects from Religion of Sports is Greatness Code, a short-form docuseries in combination with Uninterrupted that premiered on AppleTV+ in the summer of 2020. The series focused on having top athletes talk in their own words about pivotal moments in their career, and paired live action with animation and other visual effects in episodes lasting from five to eight minutes in the first season. It’s now coming back for a second season focusing on six new athletes, which will premiere on May 13.
As with the first Greatness Code season, this will be fully directed by Religion of Sports co-founder Gotham Chopra. The first season featured ROS co-founder Tom Brady (who Chopra and ROS would again feature on Man In The Arena) and Uninterrupted co-founder LeBron James, but also Alex Morgan, Usain Bolt, Katie Ledecky, Shaun White, and Kelly Slater. The second season will feature Marcus Rashford, Russell Wilson, Letícia Bufoni, Scout Bassett, Bubba Wallace, and Lindsey Vonn. Here’s more on it from a release:
Apple today announced that “Greatness Code,” the short form sports docuseries that unveils what drives the world’s greatest athletes to succeed, has been picked up for a second season. Co-produced by UNINTERRUPTED and Religion of Sports, and directed by Religion of Sports’ co-founder Gotham Chopra, all six episodes of the second season will premiere globally on May 13, 2022 on Apple TV+.
In “Greatness Code,” iconic athletes pull back the curtain on a pivotal career moment when they touched greatness. A stylized hybrid of live action and visual effects, this short-form docuseries sheds new light on the sports legends you thought you knew.
The accomplished athletes featured in six brand-new installments of season two include:
Marcus Rashford: English professional footballer and children’s campaigner
Russell Wilson: Super Bowl champion NFL quarterback who has played in nine Pro Bowls
Leticia Bufoni: Six-time X Games gold medalist and professional street skateboarder
Scout Bassett: Parapan American Track & Field Champion
Bubba Wallace: First African-American driver to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series since 1963
Lindsey Vonn: Four-time World Cup champion alpine ski racer, Olympic Gold Medal winner, author and entrepreneur
“Greatness Code” is produced for Apple by Religion of Sports and UNINTERRUPTED. Each episode is directed by Gotham Chopra, who executive produces with Religion of Sports’ Ameeth Sankaran, Giselle Parets, and UNINTERRUPTED’s Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Devin Johnson and Philip Byron, and co-executive producer Matt Rissmiller.
Here’s a quote from Chopra:
Greatness Code has always been a dream project. I started dreaming it up years ago when I worked with Kobe Bryant and he told me stories of what he thought were his greatest games. Then I worked with Tom Brady and LeBron and quietly inquired with them what they thought were their best performances respectively. And that’s how the series was conceived. Now here we are going into our second season, not just with another crop of the greatest athletes on the planet, but with dream partners in AppleTV+ and Springhill Ent. On behalf of my amazing team at Religion of Sports, I just hope the dream never ends.
And here’s a sample of what to expect, as seen in the Season 1 trailer:
Greatness Code is interesting topically, as it’s so specifically focused. These installments aren’t the full story of each athlete’s life, and they’re sometimes not even focused on their most famous moment as viewed from the wider world; they’ve often spotlighted moments that mattered a lot to that athlete. The series is also interesting stylistically, featuring a lot of black-and-white and a lot of visual effects, more than you see in typical sports documentaries that just use game or event footage. And they’ve got some notable athletes lined up for this second season.
It’s also notable that Greatness Code is now part of a much bigger sports world on AppleTV+. Greatness Code was really the first sports documentary there, but they have three others coming this spring alone on Magic Johnson, Makur Maker, and the World Surf League, and two further ones already announced on Lewis Hamilton and the New England Patriots. AppleTV+ also has their MLB deal and the success of scripted show Ted Lasso, and they’ve done some other sports projects, including Swagger with Kevin Durant; they also have a first-look deal with Meadowlark Media, which may lead to some sports projects in the future. So sports is now a bigger category for this streaming service than it was when Greatness Code launched, which might mean that there are more sports fans signing up; that might help this series get some more notice. We’ll see how it’s received.
[Greatness Code Season 1 poster from AppleInsider]