HBO is prepping a documentary based on a 2020 Sports Illustrated cover story about the alleged sexual abuse scandal that spanned three decades at Ohio State University.
The U.S. TV network joins Smokehouse Pictures and Sports Illustrated Studios/101 Studios on the project. George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse are producing the film, along with David C. Glasser of 101 Studios.
Directed by Eva Orner (Burning, Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator), the film tells the story of the alleged victims of OSU’s former athletics physician Richard Strauss through the testimony of some of the male athlete victims, including All-American wrestlers and football players, many of whom have not yet spoken out about the issue. Former UFC heavyweight champion and OSU alum Mark Coleman, who testified about his experiences in Jon Wertheim’s story for Sports Illustrated, will also be featured in the documentary.
The film will also examine the university’s lack of response to the issue, and investigate the allegations that school officials knew about and reportedly ignored.
“This film is about the largest sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education. It will give the courageous men who were abused a powerful and clear voice,” Orner said in a news release.
101 Studios COO David Hutkin added: “It is because of the courage of these men who have decided to finally speak out that we can finally hold the abusers accountable. We are honored to be able to provide a platform to amplify the voices of these victims.”
Orner and Steven J. Berger will also produce the film. Wertheim will serve as executive producer along with Corey Salter, Colin Smeeton and Marc Rosen of Sports Illustrated Studios, as well as David Hutkin, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari of 101 Studios.
The doc will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.