Peacock TV announced a robust original film slate launching in September. ANTHONY will premiere on Friday, Sept. 4, and THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW and BLACK BOYS will premiere on Thursday, Sept. 10. Additionally, the critically acclaimed documentary A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING and Emilio Estevez’s THE PUBLIC will begin streaming exclusively on Peacock beginning in September.
ANTHONY (Peacock Original Film)
• In 2005, 18-year-old Black student Anthony Walker was murdered in an unprovoked, racially motivated attack in Liverpool that shocked the nation. ANTHONY is a powerful feature film that examines the impact of Walker’s murder by exploring what may have happened had he lived.
• ANTHONY premieres Friday, Sept 4.
• This distinctive drama presents a unique perspective on this devastating crime and the life it took away. Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, Anthony’s imagined life is told through reverse chronology as we see him realize his dreams and enjoy the life he had a right to live, before fate – and hate – took it all away.
• “Both Donna and I were privileged to have produced ANTHONY. It follows a rich vein of factual drama we have been delivering for almost a decade now,” said executive producer Colin McKeown. “It means a lot to me personally as I am from the same village as the Walker family, and it is typical of Gee Walker, Anthony’s mother, to draw positive conclusions from tragic events.”
• ANTHONY stars Toheeb Jimon (“The Feed”) as Anthony Walker, Rakie Ayola (“Been So Long”) as his mother Gee Walker, Julia Brown (“World on Fire”) as his wife Katherine and Bobby Schofield (“Knightfall”) as his friend Mick.
• ANTHONY is produced by Colin McKeown and Donna Molloy for LA Productions. The film is directed by Terry McDonough and written by Jimmy McGovern. Colin McKeown, Jimmy McGovern and Terry McDonough serve as executive producers, along with Lucy Richer for the BBC. ITV Studios handles global distribution.
THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW (Peacock Original Film)
• From executive producer and MSNBC host Joy Reid and director Yoruba Richen, THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW is a documentary film that chronicles the seminal event and almost-forgotten moment in American history during which legendary entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte hosted the iconic “Tonight Show” in place of Johnny Carson for an entire week.
• THE SIT-IN premieres Thursday, Sept. 10.
• “When I started this film, I thought that I was telling the story of Harry Belafonte’s historic achievement as the first African American to host a full week of late night television,” said director Yoruba Richen. “I soon discovered the film was not only about this week during a politically volatile time in U.S history but also a journey through Harry’s incredible career, political activism and enduring influence. I discovered how relevant it is to today when we are in a time of political crisis, much like 1968, the year Harry hosted the show.”
• THE SIT-IN follows the history-making week in February 1968 when an African American got the opportunity to host the whole week of the popular show for the first time ever. Amidst a backdrop of riots across the country and the Vietnam War, Belafonte introduced a fractured, changing country to itself for five nights with guests that included entertainment icons Aretha Franklin and Sidney Poitier as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.
• THE SIT-IN highlights never-before-seen footage from this pivotal week, which set the stage for the confluence of late-night and politics that we see today.
• Belafonte appears in the film, along with Questlove and Whoopi Goldberg who recount the historic moment. THE SIT-IN is a production of Big Beach and is directed by Yoruba Richen and executive produced by Joy Reid. Valerie Thomas and Joan Walsh serve as producers. Leah Holzer and Peter Saraf also executive produce.
BLACK BOYS (Peacock Original Film)
• Executive produced by activist and two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins and written and directed by Sonia Lowman, BLACK BOYS is a documentary film that celebrates the full humanity of Black men and boys in America. Utilizing conversations and stories around education, criminal justice and sports, the film reveals the emotional landscape of those experiencing racism and invites us to reimagine an America in which Black boys experience true belonging and unlimited possibilities.
• BLACK BOYS premieres Thursday, Sept. 10.
• A film for this historic moment, in a nation still struggling to rectify its racist legacy, BLACK BOYS serves as a rare glimpse into the emotional landscape of Black men and boys, illuminating their tenderness, vulnerability, joy and resilience.
• “Our intention with this film and future films like it is to give visuals to the reality that the humanity of Black people lives on a wide spectrum,” said executive producer Malcolm Jenkins. “This project is focused on the humanity of Black boys. No segment group is monolithic. What we are displaying in this film is how Black boys’ bodies have been commodified, our minds completely disregarded, and our feelings, creativity, and love painted over by society.
Operating in a society that fears them, Black men and Black boys face a unique kind of trauma. We need white people, and everyone for that matter, to see that the identity of the Black boy is under attack as early as preschool to adulthood. We all have a responsibility to help map the future of our children, and how our children preserve the world around them. Next up is Black Girls!”
• BLACK BOYS features interviews with activist and rapper Vic Mensa, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, two-time Super Bowl champion Greg Scruggs, NFL Hall of Fame inductee Cris Carter, Super Bowl champion Chris Long, award-winning sports journalist Jemele Hill, poet/activist Malcolm London, and former U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. John King Jr.
• BLACK BOYS is executive produced by Malcolm Jenkins, directed by Sonia Lowman (“Teach Us All”), and produced by Never Whisper Justice in association with Listen Up Media and The Nation of Artists.
A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING (Exclusively Streaming)
• A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING, a documentary film that chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in the nation made up of young men from the West Side of Chicago, is set to launch exclusively on Peacock on Friday, Sept. 4.
• Based on Arshay Cooper’s memoir of the same name, the powerful documentary is narrated by Academy and Grammy Award winner Common. NBA stars Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade executive produce along with Grammy Award winner and producer 9th Wonder. The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker and Olympic rower Mary Mazzio.
• A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING takes a deep dive into the rowing team’s backstory, examining the issues of inter-generational trauma and violence. After twenty years out of the boat, the death of a former coach brings the team back together to race once more for their sons and their community. In an extraordinary turn of events, team captain Arshay Cooper invites members of the Chicago Police Department to join their reunion team. What happened next was unexpected for all involved.
• “Every day, Americans of color face a long list of challenges and oppression, a list too long and too painful to recite here,” said executive producer Grant Hill. “With the recent events that have transpired, it is even more meaningful to be a part of a project which shows young black men in a positive, human, and hopeful way. The protagonist of the film, Arshay Cooper, and his extension of an olive branch to members of the Chicago Police Department, moved me in deep and profound ways. He is a leader of his generation and his name will be one that soon everyone will know.”
• Set to a hip-hop score, produced by 9th Wonder, the documentary features original tracks by femdot., Reuben Vincent, Ian Kelly, King Draft and Swank, with beats by E.Jones, Khrysis and Kash. A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING is produced by 50 Eggs, Inc.
THE PUBLIC (Exclusively Streaming)
• From writer, executive producer and director Emilio Estevez, THE PUBLIC will stream exclusively on Peacock on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
• In THE PUBLIC, an act of civil disobedience turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.
• THE PUBLIC stars Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, and Jeffrey Wright.
• THE PUBLIC is produced by Hammerstone Studios, Living the Dream Films and E2 Films. Emilio Estevez serves as writer, executive producer and director. Lisa Niedenthal, Alex Lebovici and Steve Ponce produce.