HBO Sports has acquired the rights to “The Day Sports Stood Still,” the Chris Paul-executive produced documentary that focuses on the pandemic-induced sports shutdown that began in March of this year, Deadline reported.
Emmy Award winner Antoine Fuqua is set to direct the film, which will chronicle the “abrupt stoppage, athletes’ prominent role in the cultural reckoning on racial injustices that escalated during the pandemic and the complex return to competition in the summer and fall.”
It will revolve around a first-person account from Paul — the National Basketball Players Association president — who will “relive his entire experience from being in the middle of the first game to be stopped” in March, to “suddenly living in quarantine, to his crucial role in helping re-open the NBA safely to playing in ‘the bubble.’”
Fuqua, Oscar winner Brian Grazer and Emmy winner Justin Wilkes will serve as producers.
“Last March when the NBA announced they were postponing the season, Chris Paul and I spoke and he said to me ‘we have to document this,’” Grazer said. “Antoine was our next call and days later, we started filming. We knew this was a unique story, but no one could have predicted the emotional twists and turns that came with bringing the game back.It’s been an incredible journey and a point in history that none of us will forget.”
Paul first revealed that the documentary was in the works in July. The film will also include interviews that were “largely conducted remotely” with other sports stars.
“It is an unbelievable opportunity to be able to work with Brian and Antoine to tell the collective story of the sports world over the last few months,” Paul said. “Brian had called me while I was still in the locker room that fateful night on March 11 and from there, we have been working to give the audience a deeper look into this momentous time in history.”
Acclaimed director Ron Howard — Grazer’s co-founder at Imagine Entertainment — Imagine Documentaries President Sara Bernstein and Imagine Brands SVP Marc Gilbar are executive producing.