‘Dope’ Filmmaker Rick Famiyuwa to Direct Magic Johnson Documentary Series

Editor Dirk Westervelt and cinematographer Rachel Morrison are already in pre-production on the series aiming for completion in 2021

Rick Famiyuwa Magic Johnson
Credit: Michael Muller

Magic Johnson’s own “The Last Dance” has found a director: Rick Famuyiwa, the filmmaker behind “Dope,” will direct the untitled documentary series based on the life and career of the Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

The news was announced Tuesday by XTR, H.wood Media, NSV and Delirio Films, which are all jointly producing the untitled series that will feature archival footage of the two-time Basketball Hall of Famer as well as interviews with Johnson, his family, his teammates and fellow business leaders.

Famiyuwa will work on the film alongside his collaborator and editor Dirk Westervelt (“Ford v. Ferrari”) and cinematographer Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther”), who have already begun pre-production on the project. The series is aiming to be completed in 2021.

Magic has five NBA championship wins, three MVP titles, has appeared in 12 All-Star games and has even won an Olympic gold medal. But the documentary will also explore Johnson’s legacy off the court as a businessman with Magic Johnson Enterprises, as well as his activist and leadership roles in the Black community.

“As a kid who grew up in Inglewood, California during the Showtime era, I’m so happy to help bring the story of Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson to the screen,” Famuyiwa said in a statement. “This project is a convergence of so many things that excite and interest me as a filmmaker. Magic has lived an extraordinary life as a champion athlete, passionate activist, and highly successful entrepreneur. The impact of Magic’s life on the game of basketball and beyond is undeniable. I look forward to working with our talented creative team to bring this documentary to life.”

Famiyuwa most recently directed multiple episodes of the first two seasons on the Disney+ “Star Wars” spinoff series “The Mandalorian,” and he’s also known for directing Kerry Washington as Anita Hill in 2016’s “Confirmation” and the pilot episode of “The Chi” for Showtime.

The docuseries is funded by New Slate Ventures, a media fund run by Jordan Fudge, Jeremy Allen and Zach White. H.wood Media’s John Terzian and Brian Toll and XTR have joined as partners along with Delirio Films.

Variety first reported the news.


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