- This new film, Rise, is based on the real life experiences of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family.
- It will debut in 2022 on Disney+.
- Rise stars Uche Agada, Ral Agada, Jaden Osimuwa, Elijah Sholanke, Yetide Badaki and Dayo Okeniyi.
- About a year ago, Disney held an open casting call for their in-development biopic about NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo with the athlete tweeting asking for lookalikes to step forward.
- Star and newcomer Uche Agada was working at a WaWa drive-thru in New Jersey when he saw a screenshot of an Instagram post from Giannis about a casting call for someone new and fresh to portray him in the film. After taking time off and auditioning, Agada was cast in the role, a true American dream casting moment. After being cast, he suggested that the filmmakers have his brother Ral audition for the role of Thiannis, which led to both Agada brothers portraying two of the Antekounmpo brothers in the film.
- Rise is being directed by Akin Omotoso (Vaya), with Bernie Goldmann (300) producing and Giannis Antetokounmpo executive producing. Co-producers of the film are Andreas Dimitriou and Michael Foutras.
- Audiences have never seen a story like that of the Antetokounmpo’s, which mixes Nigerian heritage, Greek nationality, and extraordinary athletic ability. In Rise, audiences will witness how one family’s vision, determination and faith lifted them out of obscurity to launch the career of three NBA champions—two-time MVP Giannis and his brothers, Thanasis and Kostas. Last season, Giannis and Thanasis helped bring the Bucks their first championship ring in 50 years, while Kostas played for the previous season champions, the Lakers.
About Giannis Antetokounmpo:
- After emigrating to Greece from Nigeria, Vera and Charles Antetokounmpo struggled to survive and provide for their five children, while living under the daily threat of deportation. With their oldest son still in Nigeria with relatives, the couple were desperate to obtain Greek citizenship but found themselves undermined by a system that blocked them at every turn. When they weren’t selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, encouraged by their father, the brothers would sneak away to play basketball with a local youth team. Latecomers to the sport, they discovered their great abilities on the basketball court and worked hard to become world class athletes. With the help of an agent, Giannis entered the NBA Draft in 2013 as a long shot prospect that would change not only his life but the life of his entire family.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo said: “I am thrilled and honored that Disney+ is bringing my family’s story to people all over the world. My hope is that it will inspire those in similar circumstances to keep the faith, stay true to their goals and not to give up on striving for a better life.”
More Disney+ News:
- Disney+ has released a new trailer for this year’s Disney+ Day. Taking place on November 12, Disney+ Day will feature a significant amount of exciting new programming.
- Previously available only to D23 Gold Members, Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives, a documentary that dives into the expansive collection of the Walt Disney Archives, arrives on Disney+ in November.
- Disney+ revealed plans to release the first two episodes of Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye together on Wednesday, November 24, 2022.