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Brittney Griner’s Russia Detention to Get Doc, Scripted Treatment From ESPN and ABC Signature

The WNBA star will also sit for an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

Brittney Griner will be the subject of an ESPN documentary, and potentially a scripted series from ABC Signature as well.

The WNBA star has partnered with the two Disney units to tell her story, including the months she spent in a Russian prison after being arrested for cannabis possession in 2022. The deal also includes an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, with an airdate still to be determined.

“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,” Griner said in a statement. “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.”

Griner, an eight-time WNBA All-Star, was arrested in February 2022 at a Moscow airport as she traveled to Russia to play for a professional team there during the WNBA offseason. Her initial nine-year sentence for cannabis possession generated outcry in the sports world, and the U.S. government designated Griner as wrongfully retained. She was released on Dec. 8, 2022, as part of a prisoner swap with Russia.

ESPN Films will produce a documentary about the case that will include exclusive footage and recordings and letters sent to and from Griner during her detention. ABC Signature will also develop a scripted limited series about Griner, though no writer is attached yet.

“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, Brittney’s wife. “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.”

Cherelle Griner will be an executive producer of the ESPN and ABC Signature projects, along with Brittney Griner’s long-time agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas of Wasserman and The Collective, and Brillstein Entertainment Partners co-CEO Jon Liebman. The deal is the first for Wasserman since it acquired Brillstein in September.

“BG is a hero – across sport, culture and humanity,” Colsa and Liebman said in a statement. “We are privileged to serve as a part of her life’s storytelling journey, and to partner with her and Cherelle to bring Brittney’s legacy to audiences worldwide. Through Disney, ABC and ESPN’s, global wide-ranging TV and film platform, Brittney’s story can be realized and experienced both creatively and realistically.”

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