‘Free Solo’ Directors Sign First-Look Deal With Nat Geo

Disney-owned network has already greenlit the next feature documentary from filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Last Updated: September 23, 2019 @ 2:01 PM

“Free Solo” filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin have signed a first-look deal with National Geographic, the network announced on Monday.

The deal, signed via the duo’s Little Monster Films banner, covers all unscripted projects, including series, specials and feature documentaries. Vasarhelyi and Chin’s first deal on the project is an as-yet-unannounced feature documentary which is currently in development at Nat Geo.

“Chai and Jimmy are extraordinary filmmakers and tremendous partners, and we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with them,” said Nat Geo president Courteney Monroe. “The success of ‘Free Solo’ surpassed even our wildest expectations, and we cannot wait to embark on this exciting new chapter with the incredibly talented team behind it.”

“National Geographic offered unconditional support and enthusiasm for ‘Free Solo’ from day one, and we truly could not have asked for better partners,” added Vasarhelyi and Chin. “We are excited to have an outlet to grow our production company’s work in television, expanding the stories we are able to tell, as well as a partner for our next feature doc.”

Anna Barnes has been tapped to serve as vice president of development and production for Little Monster Films, and will be responsible for identifying, developing and producing new projects under the deal.

The announcement comes in the wake of “Free Solo’s” seven wins at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, where Vasarhelyi and Chin took home directing honors and their film became the most Emmy-winning documentary in history. The film, which documents rock climber Alex Honnold’s 2017 quest to perform a free solo climb of El Capitan, previously grossed more than $21 million at the box office and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.