Spike Lee’s next project looks like it’s shaping up to be an interesting one. The director is teaming up with former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick to make a docuseries about Kaepernick’s life and football career. Lee and Kaepernick are never ones to shy away from the issues they care about, so not only will we see how Colin made his way to the NFL, but we’ll also likely see a deep-dive into his life after the fallout from his protests.
If you’re unaware, Colin Kaepernick was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers up until 2017. During the 2016 season, he protested against systematic oppression, racism, and police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem. This caused some people to take umbrage with his method of protest, but it also inspired a wider protest movement throughout the league and brought a lot of attention to the cause. After leaving the 49ers that season, Kaepernick became a free agent and went unsigned by other teams, which may have been a result of his activism. He would file a grievance against the NFL for collusion to bar him from the league before eventually withdrawing the grievance after settling out of court. Spike Lee, a civil rights activist in his own right, supported Kaepernick throughout his protests which makes this collaboration feel like a pretty natural one.
In addition to directing the series, Spike Lee is also on board as a producer, along with Kaepernick, ESPN, and journalist Jemele Hill. Lee will be producing through his 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks company. Lee is an avid sports fan, frequently seen at Knicks games courtside, and this definitely isn’t his first go-around when it comes to sports-related media. One of his most beloved movies, He Got Game, depicts the relationship between an estranged father and son with basketball being the main thing that connects them. Denzel Washington plays the father and basketball superstar Ray Allen plays the son. Lee also directed a documentary about the late great Kobe Bryan, called Kobe Doin’ Work in 2009.
This isn’t Kaepernick’s first go-around with depicting his life on film. The Netflix limited series Colin in Black & White depicted his teenage years and was co-created by Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay. The upcoming Spike Lee joint, however, will be a more documentary-style depiction and will be unscripted, letting Colin give his own take on everything that has happened in his life.
Though we don’t have a release date yet, the deal has been signed and production has started for the new docuseries. Spike Lee’s deft and kinetic direction always brings something interesting to the table, and Kaepernick seems like a great subject for him to focus his lens on. When he first signed the deal, Kaepernick mentioned how he’s looking forward to sharing his life and culturally impactful projects with everyone. These two creators and activists have definitely garnered a lot of attention for widespread issues, and it seems like they’ve found a good way to continue to get their word out.