The long-awaited Once Upon a Time in Queens is almost here. That four-hour 30 for 30 documentary on the 1986 New York Mets was first announced last July, and it had a premiere date (September 14 and 15) and a 30-second teaser trailer revealed last month. Now, ESPN has put out a full release on what to expect from the film, along with a new 60-second trailer. Here’s that trailer:
This trailer’s interesting for its discussion of the buildup to the ’86 Mets, both with the team’s struggles in the late 1970s and then their growth in 1984 and 1985 (they finished second in the NL East both years). This also has discussion of the off-field drug and alcohol use around this team; that’s been an oft-discussed part of the ’86 Mets’ story, and it’s notable that this documentary won’t shy away from that. Here’s more on what to expect from ESPN’s release:
Featuring exclusive interviews with players from the World Series winning team, including Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra, Kevin Mitchell, and many more, the film traces the origins of the 1986 team back to the late 1970s, when the Mets were a listless, struggling franchise – and New York City was nearly bankrupt. But as the grime and hopelessness that defined the city gave way to the high-flying, “greed is good” rise of the 1980s, the Mets emerged, too. And the transformations – of the city, and the ballclub – ran in parallel paths in every which way imaginable. The city may have had a glamorous sheen, but dirt and danger were still everywhere. The Mets may have been full of swagger and star power, but demons and disaster always loomed.
“They were wildly talented, and equally entertaining,” said Director Nick Davis. “They were like a bunch of raffish rogues who come together for one great score, like the characters in a heist movie. Love them or hate them, you could not avoid the 1986 Mets, and for one year, they blazed like a comet across the New York City landscape, the trail still visible all these years later.”
Added Executive Producer Jimmy Kimmel: “The characters and events captured in this documentary are so outlandish it is hard to believe this documentary isn’t a work of 80’s-era fiction. Whether you are a New Yorker, a Mets fan or even a fan of baseball makes no difference. This is the definitive, must-see story of a team and a time whose antics and even existence now seem unimaginable.”
The film is directed by Davis, known for PBS’ Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter That Ever Lived. Executive producers on the project include Kimmel, Sal “Cousin Sal” Iacono, Kimmelot’s Scott Lonker, ITV America’s David George and MLB’s Nick Trotta. They certainly have an interesting subject, and they managed to land interviews with many of the notable figures. We’ll see how this one turns out.