Brittney Griner Jul 15, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team Stewart frontcourt Brittney Griner (42) enters onto the stage during player introductions prior to the 2023 WNBA All-Star Game against Team Wilson at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, ESPN and Disney announced an exclusive deal with Brittney Griner that will create both a documentary and a scripted series.

Robin Roberts of ABC News will also interview Griner, her first exclusive interview since being released from a Russian prison last December.

Here’s more from the release of the documentary.

The documentary from ESPN Films will chronicle Griner’s transcendent story. In February 2022, while returning to her Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, during the WNBA off-season, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport for cannabis possession and later sentenced to nine years in prison. Despite outcries from the international sporting community and designation by the U.S. government as wrongfully detained, Griner was held under harsh conditions and prevented from speaking with her family for nearly a year. From the circumstances that led to her playing outside the U.S. despite being one of the best players in the sport to her harrowing detainment and the unwavering determination to secure her freedom, as well as her subsequent advocacy for the release of other wrongful detainees, the documentary will feature exclusive footage, recordings and letters to and from Griner during her time in prison.


The film will utilize exclusive footage and rare archival material to tell her story, including the circumstances that led to her playing overseas, her detainment and separation from her wife, the fight to gain her freedom, and her advocacy for the release of other wrongful detainees.

There are fewer details about the scripted series that ABC Signature will create. Disney’s Debra OConnell praised Griner’s “unwavering perseverance” when discussing the scripted series in the release.

“We are honored that Brittney has entrusted us to share her story of hope, faith and determination across our platforms,” said Debra OConnell, president, Networks and Television Business Operations, Disney Entertainment. “Her unwavering perseverance that helped shape her as an athlete has now influenced her leadership as a human rights advocate.”

A Griner documentary seemed like it would be coming eventually, and the scripted series is the real surprise from this release. It’s also not surprising that ESPN and Disney are the entities partnering with Griner, given the company’s strong relationship with the WNBA.

Release dates for all of the Griner-related content have yet to be announced.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.