'Rise' will debut on Disney+ this year
Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family recently visited Walt Disney Studios to watch an early cut of the movie about their journey.
"Cannot wait to share it with the world," Antetokounmpo tweeted Monday night along with a picture of him with his mom, Veronica, and his brother Thanasis.
Great day at Disney studios watching an early cut of the movie about my family’s journey. Cannot wait to share it with the world 🙏🏾🙌🏾
"Rise," a new Disney movie about the trials and triumphs of the Antetokounmpo family, will debut on Disney+ in 2022. The cast includes, from left: Yetide Badaki as Vera, Ral Agada as Thanasis, Elijah Sholanke as Alexandros, Uche Agada as Giannis, Dayo Okeniyi as Charles.
"Rise" is being directed by Akin Omotoso (Vaya), with Bernie Goldmann producing and Giannis Antetokounmpo executive producing.
The film -- first titled "Greek Freak" but changed to "Rise" -- mixes Nigerian heritage, Greek nationality, and extraordinary athletic ability.
The movie will follow the journey of the Antetokounmpo family from Nigeria to Greece to the U.S.A. It will be an inspiring story about how a family launched the career of three NBA champions, Giannis, Thanasis, and Kostas.
Giannis and Thanasis both play for the Milwaukee Bucks and are 2021 world champions, and their brother Kostas, won the title in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
A press release from Disney+ explains part of the movie and journey as such: "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 in a long shot prospect that would change not only his life but the life of his entire family."