Giannis Antetokounmpo, a basketball star and one-time NBA champion playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, has launched his first feature production company ‘Improbable Media’. The firm is also set to debut its first production, titled ‘Giannis: The Marvellous Journey’, a documentary that will premiere on Amazon Prime on February 19th 2024.
The two-time NBA MVP, born to Nigerian immigrants in Greece, served as the producer for his 2022 Disney+ biopic ‘Rise,’ directed by Akin Omotosho, a UK-based Nigerian director. Antetokounmpo draws inspiration from the film’s success, expanding beyond a documentary about himself and venturing into the entertainment business.
The one-hour, 48-minute documentary was produced by Improbable Media, the company co-founded by Antetokounmpo and ESPN basketball analyst Jay Williams, who is serving as the company’s chairman.
Antetokounmpo said his experience with “Rise,” for which he served as an executive producer, did not trigger his ambition to found a media company—that had already been in place—but “it encouraged us that this was the right path,” he said.
“It sets the tone for us,” Antetokounmpo, who was born to Nigerian immigrants in Athens, Greece, said of the Prime documentary, via email. “It’s a very personal story that I am excited to share with the world. You’ll see me in everything Improbable does. And the Amazon documentary tells the story that is the foundation for all of this.”
Jonathan Stern, the CEO of ‘Improbable Media’, told reporters that Antetokounmpo is the creative filter for the company, with his input a vital mechanism for ensuring Improbable is making creative choices and pursuing projects that are consistent with his brand and personal values.
He also said Williams, the company’s chairman, plays a key role as a facilitator across the industry thanks to his deep relationships with athletes, celebrities, production companies and distributors.
“Giannis” represents the company’s significant accomplishment, alongside various smaller projects like a Nike documentary, a commercial for the Greece-based energy company Protergia featuring Antetokounmpo shot in Greek, and “The Flagmakers,” a 35-minute documentary in partnership with National Geographic. The Emmy-winning documentary narrates the story of immigrant workers at Eder Flag Manufacturing in Wisconsin.