Los Angeles, CA (March TK, 2022) – Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Participant and MACRO announced today Rashaad Ernesto Green will direct the feature film ’68, inspired by the true story of Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos from a script written by Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray. Participant and MACRO will produce the project, along with Stacy Sherman.
‘68 chronicles the lives of Tommie Smith and John Carlos from track athletes at San Jose State to Olympic medalists and activists at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, where Smith and Carlos both raised their fists in solidarity and in support of human rights. Carlos’ nephews, Airrion and Shaun McCoy, and DeLois Smith, the wife of Tommie Smith, will co-produce the film.
Bronx-born filmmaker Rashaad Ernesto Green received the Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award in 2020 for his sophomore feature, Premature, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. Shot in Harlem, New York entirely on 16mm film, Premature is currently streaming on Hulu. His first feature, Gun Hill Road, was a Grand Jury nominee at Sundance. Rashaad is represented by WME and Granderson Des Rochers.
Ray wrote the screenplay for the Oscar®-nominated Captain Phillips and other noteworthy films including Richard Jewell, Overlord, The Hunger Games, State of Play, Breach, and Shattered Glass, as well as Showtime's The Comey Rule, among others. He is represented by CAA.
“Still incredibly powerful and relevant, I'm honored for the opportunity to bring Tommie and John's riveting story to life; to portray the weight of the world these two giants had on their shoulders and the self-determination, courage and sacrifice it took for them to stand up for all of us,” said Rashaad Ernesto Green.
Said Michael De Luca, MGM Film Group Chairman & Pam Abdy, MGM Film Group President, “We are thrilled to have Rashaad Ernesto Green at the helm of this very special film. Olympian Tommie Smith has said that he and fellow Olympian John Carlos ‘had to be seen because we couldn’t be heard.’ The courage and selflessness of these two extraordinary men, who quite literally put their lives on the line to stand up for what was right and true, has stood as a testament to the essential need to speak truth to power. We are deeply grateful to Tommie and John, along with Rashaad, Stacy, Billy, Participant and MACRO, to entrust MGM to bring their story to the world.”
”Participant is proud to work with Rashaad, Stacy, Billy, MGM and MACRO to tell the story of Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their historic protest,” said David Linde, CEO of Participant. “At a time when the right to peacefully protest remains under attack, it couldn’t be a more perfect opportunity to tell the story of these courageous men.”
“We are thrilled to work with Rashaad Ernesto Green and the teams at MGM and Participant to bring this incredible story to the screen,” said Charles D. King, Founder & CEO, MACRO. “The moment when Tommie Smith and John Carlos took the podium and raised their fists created a ripple effect of change that resonates to this very day and now audiences worldwide will understand the true extent of their bravery.”
Participant will be incorporating ’68 into its ongoing impact work dedicated to civil rights and social justice.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant (www.participant.com) combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus.
As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, six documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 20 hours of digital short form programming. Participant’s more than 100 films have collectively earned 85 Academy Award® nominations and 21 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book; Best Documentary Feature for An Inconvenient Truth, CITIZENFOUR, The Cove and American Factory; and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant also has earned 44 EMMY® Award nominations and 11 wins, including two wins for the groundbreaking When They See Us. Follow Participant on Twitter (@Participant) and on Facebook and Instagram.
Launched in 2015 by Founder & CEO Charles D. King, MACRO is a multi-platform media company representing the voice and perspectives of Black people, indigenous people and people of color. The company’s multiple business verticals includes film (MACRO) and television studios (MACRO Television Studios) that finance, develop and produce theatrical and streaming features and premium television, talent (M88) and content creator (UNCMMN) representation divisions, a branding and creative agency (Brand MACRO) and an affiliated venture firm (MaC Venture Capital). The company’s film projects have fifteen Oscar nominations and three wins. MACRO Film Studios co-financed the critically acclaimed Judas and the Black Messiah, Mudbound, Fences, Roman J. Israel, Esq., Just Mercy, Sorry to Bother You, Nine Days, Farewell Amor, Blast Beat, The Land and Blue Bayou. On the television side, the Netflix series’ Raising Dion and Gentefied are both executive produced by MACRO Television Studios. Go to https://www.staymacro.com/about for more information.