Docs

HBO, Smokehouse, Sports Illustrated Studios collaborating on OSU scandal doc

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 ...
June 8, 2022

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.

38 at the Garden coming to HBO
Another sports documentary coming to HBO is 38 at the Garden, which is making its world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival on June 12 before dropping on HBO and HBO Max later this year.
The doc covers the rise of NBA point guard Jeremy Lin, who was brought on board the starting line-up of the New York Knicks in 2012. The undrafted, Asian American Harvard graduate shocked and delighted fans when he culminated his unexpectedly hot streak of play by scoring 38 points in a February game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden.
With this game as its centerpiece, the film will investigate the “Linsanity” phenomenon among the fanbase and examine Lin’s surprising emergence as a cultural icon. The doc includes a new interview with Lin, along with appearances by journalists Lisa Ling and Pablo Torre, comedians Ronny Chieng, Hasan Minhaj and Jenny Yang, and former Lin teammates Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert.
Frank Chi is directing the doc, which is produced by Travon Free and Samir Hernandez. 38 at the Garden is a Mr. Fahrenheit and GTG Entertainment production, with Patricia Sun, Brandon Chu, Kai Huang, Mike Lee, David Lu and Paul Sri serving as executive producers along with Bentley Weiner, who is executive producing for HBO.
About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

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