The upcoming Magic Johnson docuseries — publicized as the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s version of The Last Dance — may have found a streaming home.
Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw reports that Peacock is in the lead for bidding on the multi-part sports documentary. NBC’s streaming platform has reportedly offered $25 million for rights to the project, expected to be completed this year.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa (The Mandalorian, Dope), the as-yet-untitled docuseries will be built around archival footage of Johnson’s Hall of Fame career, which includes five NBA championships with the Lakers, three Most Valuable Player awards, 12 All-Star appearances, and an NCAA basketball national title at Michigan State. The film will include interviews with Johnson, his teammates, family, and business associates.
In an interview last fall with CBS This Morning, Magic explained why Famuyiwa was the choice for telling his story, which many friends and associates encouraged after the success of Michael Jordan’s ESPN docuseries.
“Rick, who I’ve known for a long time, excellent director,” Johnson said. “I wanted to make sure I had an African American who understood me and grew up watching the Lakers. So he had a sense of me already. I had a sense of him already.”
The project is being shopped to outlets by Submarine Entertainment, which has been involved in distributing several acclaimed documentaries including Boys’ State and The Social Dilemma.
Magic’s multi-part documentary joins a long list of Lakers-themed content set to hit cable networks and streaming platforms in the months and years to come.
A nine-part series chronicling the team’s history under the Buss family ownership will air on Hulu in 2022. Jeanie Buss and Mindy Kaling are executive-producing a Netflix comedy which follows a character based on Buss running a fictional NBA team. And perhaps the most anticipated is Adam McKay’s dramatic adaptation of Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 book about the Showtime-era Lakers starring an impressive ensemble including John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, and Adrien Brody as Pat Riley.
With so much Lakers-driven content, the team could practically launch its own streaming network. Perhaps such an idea shouldn’t be suggested, although it’s surely occurred to Buss and the Lakers already, even in jest.