Brittney Griner Signs Sweeping Deal With Disney and ESPN
A year after being released from a Russian prison, WNBA star Brittney Griner signed a large deal with Disney.
The former Baylor star will tell her full story for the first time in a documentary produced by ESPN Films. Additionally, Griner has agreed to a scripted series development deal with ABC Signature and will give the first exclusive interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.
The projects will be executive produced by Brittney’s wife, Cherelle Griner, as well as her longtime manager, Lindsay Kagawan. Wasserman and The Collective, where Kagawa is an Executive Vice President of Talent, and Brillstein’s Co-CEO Jon Liebman will also be involved.
The First Fruits of Brillstein and Wasserman’s Partnershop
The new content will be an important release in the partnership between Brillstein and Wasserman after the latter acquired the former in a massive deal.
That agreement gave Wasserman access to Brillstein’s expertise in the entertainment industry in exchange for access to Wasserman’s clients.
“The last two years have been the most harrowing, transformative and illuminating period of my life, and I am grateful to be in a place now to share my story with the world,” said Brittney Griner. “I’m proud to partner with ESPN and Disney to share this very personal story because of its incredible potential to inspire hope around the world and their proven ability to do just that.”
The ESPN Documentary Will Tell Griner’s Story
The upcoming documentary will chronicle Griner’s story, which took a dark turn when she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February of 2022 for cannabis possession.
At the time, Griner was playing for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season.
Griner was originally sentenced to nine years in prison. Despite outcries from the international community and a designation as wrongly detained by the U.S. Government, Griner was imprisoned under harsh conditions and unable to talk to her family.
Since her release, Griner has advocated for the release of other wrongful detainees.
A Scripted Series Is Coming to ABC
“Throughout BG’s detainment and in the time since, ESPN, ABC and Disney were supportive and caring in regards to the human side of this saga,” said Cherelle Griner. “Love and family were at the center of the fight to get BG home, and with that in mind, there is no better, more trusted partner to tell that story with us.”
Griner’s life story is also being developed for a limited series from ABC Signature.
“Brittney is an exceptional athlete whose hardship and resilience are nothing short of extraordinary,” said Burke Magnus, president of Content, ESPN. “We are thrilled to be working with her to tell the nuances of her story. And feel confident that this documentary will captivate audiences everywhere.”
“We are honored that Brittney has entrusted us to share her story of hope, faith, and determination across our platforms,” said Debra OConnell, president of Networks and Television Business Operations, Disney Entertainment. “Her unwavering perseverance that helped shape her as an athlete has now influenced her leadership as a human rights advocate.”