RadicalMedia is reteaming with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (pictured) and his prodco Two One Five Entertainment following the success of Thompson’s Summer of Soul for a new feature documentary on Negro League baseball, The League.
2929 Productions/Magnolia Pictures has also boarded the project to finance and distribute the film, with Magnolia handling domestic distribution. The League will begin production this fall with director Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI) at the helm
The League tells the story of baseball’s Negro League through the eyes of umpire Bob Motley. It will feature never-before-seen interviews and newly unearthed archive footage. The documentary explores Black baseball during a time of intense racism in America, and the social and economic effect it had on Black communities. It also examines the unintended consequences of integration with Major League Baseball and the dissolution of the Negro League, which hurt hundreds of Black-owned businesses. The League will look at the legacy and impact of all-Black baseball on the sport and America at large, and includes recorded interviews with with Negro League players including Buck O’Neil, and Hall of Fame Inductees Monte Irvin, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.
The League is produced by RadicalMedia and presented by 2929 Productions in association with Two One Five Entertainment, Yabba Biri Productions and XTR. Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick, and Jen Isaacson are producers. Thompson, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zohlman will executive produce for Two One Five Entertainment; Byron Motley, Josh Green, and Nina Dobrev for Yabba Biri Productions; Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban, and Haley Jones for 2929 Productions; Eamonn Bowles and Dori Begley for Magnolia Pictures; and Bryn Mooser, Kathryn Everett, Justin Lacob and Andy Hsieh for XTR.
“This documentary will reveal the honest, full picture of the history of The League. I am excited to bring this story to life with my partners at RadicalMedia, Magnolia and Sam Pollard and honor The League, which was truly a miraculous achievement,” Thompson said in a release.
“We are honored to produce a documentary about the powerful and important story of the Negro Leagues and those who contributed to it both on and off the field,” added producer and RadicalMedia president of entertainment Dave Sirulnick. “We hope to bring a new perspective to this piece of history and are privileged to share the incredible life of Negro League umpire Bob Motley through collaboration with his son Byron Motley. We are excited to be partnered with Magnolia Pictures to bring this story to life and to be producing this alongside Ahmir Thompson and the Two One Five Entertainment team after our successful collaboration on Summer of Soul.”
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images