Kobe Bryant’s production company, Kobe Studios, Sports Illustrated and Believe Entertainment Group have announced that they have all teamed up to produce a multi-platform video project based on Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” poem, which he used to announce his retirement from the NBA this year.
The animated short film will be narrated by Bryant, and will premiere on SI.com in the fall, accompanied by several exclusive Sports Illustrated Films mini documentaries, showing viewers the behind-the-scenes process of producing the project.
Glenn Keane, who has animated movies such as “Tangled” and “The Little Mermaid,” will animate the film. Five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams will provide the soundtrack.
“’Dear Basketball’ is the perfect tribute to something I’ve loved for so long,” Bryant in a statement. “Working with Sports Illustrated on this special project is an amazing opportunity to hopefully inspire fans all over the world.”
“We are proud to collaborate with Kobe to tell the comprehensive story of his first endeavor after retiring from the NBA in a way that only SI can,” said Rich Battista, President of the Time Inc. Entertainment and Sports Group and Video. “We are excited for Kobe’s fans and the global community of sport, entertainment and art enthusiasts to experience these productions.”
“Dear Basketball” the poem was originally published on The Players’ Tribune, which will also help promote the film project.
Bryant announced in November that his 20th NBA season would be his last, capping off a legendary career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
SI, Kobe Studios and Believe Entertainment Group will co-host a red carpet event when the film is released.