With the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation of all live pro sports leagues, fans are clamouring for content. A highly anticipated Michael Jordan documentary called The Last Dance, has now been fast-tracked to launch on April 19 in the U.S., and April 20 internationally, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
ESPN Films owns the U.S. rights to the documentary, while Netflix owns international rights. “The 10-part doc series, to run through to May 17 on ESPN, was originally set for June. It will also be available outside of the U.S. on Netflix from April 20,” reports THR.
“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience. We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that,” said ESPN a statement.
The Jordan documentary was made by ESPN Films and Netflix, along with the NBA legend himself, following his rise in the 1990s and the Chicago Bulls dynasty. The series will see over 500 hours of unreleased footage from the final Bulls championship run in 1997-98, along with commentary from other influential sports icons.
The synopsis of the documentary is as follows:
In the fall of 1997, Michael Jordan, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and head coach Phil Jackson agreed to let an NBA Entertainment film crew follow the team all season long. The result would be a remarkable portrait of an iconic player and a celebrated team – a portrait only now being revealed, more than two decades later, in “The Last Dance.”
You can check out the latest trailer from ESPN below:
“Michael Jordan and the ‘90s Bulls weren’t just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon,” said director Jason Hehir, in a statement.
“Making ‘The Last Dance’ was an incredible opportunity to explore the extraordinary impact of one man and one team. For nearly three years, we searched far and wide to present the definitive story of an era-defining dynasty and to present these sports heroes as humans. I hope viewers enjoy watching our series as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to make it,” added Hehir.
Jump23 produced the documentary, along with Mandalay Sports Media and the NBA Entertainment.
Earlier this morning, NBA Canada confirmed to Star reporter Doug Smith the Canadian Netflix release schedule of The Last Dance.
The NBA season was suspended on March 11 due to COVID-19 and soon after, the NHL followed and other sports leagues.
Personally, I cannot wait for this to hit Netflix, as a huge follower of Jordan’s epic run during the 1990s. It’s going to be glorious. #insertjordancryingmeme
Update: Netflix Canada has shared the full release schedule with iPhone in Canada for The Last Dance, which will see two episodes released weekly starting April 20:
- Monday, 20 April – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 1 and 2
- Monday, 27 April – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 3 and 4
- Monday, 4 May – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 5 and 6
- Monday, 11 May – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 7 and 8
- Monday, 18 May – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 9 and 10