‘Free Solo’ Ascends In National Geographic TV Debut

Read on: Deadline.

It’s safe to say that Free Solo is on a roll. Less than two weeks after the film won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, its TV premiere broke records for National Geographic.
The commercial-free airing drew 1.45 million viewers in Live+3 to …

Nat Geo and Kevin Macdonald to Develop Documentary on Thai Cave Rescue

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

National Geographic Documentary Films has greenlit a documentary on the Thai cave rescue, the 2018 rescue mission that saved a youth boys soccer team escape after being trapped inside for 18 days, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Kevin Macdonald, known for “The Last King of Scotland” and  “One Day in September,” a documentary about the terrorist attacks on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, is directing the feature documentary that includes exclusive interviews with British and Australian cave divers, and local Thai officials and volunteers who played a part in the rescue.

The documentary, which currently has a working title “Thai Cave Rescue,” is being produced by John Battsek and P.J. van Sandwijk along with executive producer Michael Lesslie.

Also Read: Ron Howard to Direct Paradise Wildfire Documentary for National Geographic

The boys were rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiang Rai Province in Thailand. Twelve boys between the ages of 11 and 17 and their 25-year-old assistant coach were trapped in a cave after heavy rain waters had flooded their path out. Over 10,000 people and 100 divers worked over 18 days to attempt to rescue the boys, which resulted in one fatality, a former Thai Navy SEAL.

Divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, who were included in National Geographic’s 2019 list of its Adventurers of the Year, will be interviewed in the film along with Chris Jewell, Jason Mallinson, Connor Roe, Josh Bratchley and Jim Warny, in addition to interviews with Australian divers Dr. Richard Harris and Craig Challen.

The film originated with Storyteller Productions and its producers, van Sandwijk and Lesslie, who approached Macdonald after the news of the successful outcome of the rescue mission and subsequently secured the rights of the British divers. This film marks the second production between Storyteller Productions and Passion Pictures.

Also Read: How the Oscar-Nominated ‘Free Solo’ Helped Daredevil Climber Alex Honnold ‘Evolve’

Nat Geo is behind the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo” about free solo rock climber Alex Honnold. They’ve also recently partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio on a climate change documentary and with Ron Howard on a documentary about the fires that ravaged Paradise, California.

Macdonald recently directed “Whitney,” about the life of singer Whitney Houston.

THR was first to report.

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Right Stuff’ Adaptation Gets Series Order at Nat Geo

Nat Geo’s ‘Genius’ Finds Showrunner for Aretha Franklin Season

Nat Geo Acquires Leonardo DiCaprio-Produced Documentary ‘Sea of Shadows’

‘Free Solo’ Wins Best Documentary Feature, Gets First Bleep Of Oscars 2019

Read on: Deadline.

Tackling Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan, Free Solo has now soared to cinema heights with a win for Documentary feature at the 91st Academy Awards tonight – and got the first use of the censor button.
Presented by past Oscar winner Helen Mirr…

‘Hostile Planet’ Fight To Survive Has “Oh, No” Moments, Says Bear Grylls – TCA

Read on: Deadline.

Bear Grylls calls National Geographic’s Hostile Planet a story that’s never been told showing life on the edges and how hard it really is. The six part series delves into the real stars, animals that have adapted to the cruelest evolutionary curveballs…

‘Science Fair’ Takes On Sense Of Urgency In Donald Trump’s America, Producer Says — TCA

Read on: Deadline.

“We have a President who likes to joke that climate change is not real because it’s snowing out” a TV critic attending TCA asked panelists for Nat Geo’s documentary Science Fair, wondering if the documentary has taken on an “urg…

‘Yellowstone Live’, ‘Planet Of The Whales’, ‘Photo Ark’ Among Nat. Geographic Slate – TCA

Read on: Deadline.

National Geographic revealed three natural history global series and specials at the Television Critics Association meeting.
Headling was  the announced return of last summer’s highly successful Yellowstone Live.
“National Geographic has been the gold …

Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Right Stuff’ Adaptation Gets Series Order at Nat Geo

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

National Geographic has given a series order to the scripted adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” from executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio, the network announced on Sunday.
Based on the bestselling nonfiction book about the ea…

‘Genius: Aretha Franklin’ Greenlighted As Third Installment Of Nat Geo Series; Suzan-Lori Parks Set As Showrunner – TCA

Read on: Deadline.

It’s official — the upcoming third season of National Geographic’s scripted anthology series Genius will be devoted to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who died in August at age 76. The announcement was made Sunday at TCA.
Suzan-Lori Park…

Nat Geo Orders Three New Natural History Shows, Renews ‘Yellowstone Live’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Read on: Variety.

National Geographic is launching a slate of new series that will showcase the natural world, exotic wildlife, and a veteran Nat Geo photographer in action in the field. The channel will launch “America,” a new series using high-end camera tech to offer…

Ron Howard to Direct Paradise Wildfire Documentary for National Geographic

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

National Geographic Documentary Films have commissioned Ron Howard to direct a documentary about the Camp wildfire that ravaged Paradise, California, back in November, the company announced Thursday.

Howard will direct “Rebuilding Paradise,” which will track the effort to restore the community of Paradise in the Sierra Nevada foothills following the fire that killed at least 48 people, scorching 153,000 acres, demolishing over 14,000 homes and displacing over 50,000 people and was the worst wildfire to hit the state in over a century. The film will follow over the course of a full year the refugees who were displaced, the first responders and the volunteers leading the restoration.

Brian Grazer is producing on behalf of Imagine Documentaries.

Also Read: Ron Howard’s ‘Pavarotti’ Documentary Acquired by CBS Films

Howard originally discussed the idea of the documentary back in December 2018 shortly after he visited Paradise, where his mother-in-law previously lived 20 years earlier.

“It’s everything that I thought it would be. Nonetheless, you have to see it to really believe it,” he said in an interview with the Paradise Post. “And you have to talk to the people to really feel the level of both the inspiration and, also, the struggle.”

“The people of Paradise lost everything in the blink of an eye,” Howard in a statement. “The way in which the citizens are coming together to rebuild is beautiful and hopeful — but no one should have to live through this. Theirs is a cautionary tale about the impending effects of climate change and what it takes to restore the communities ravaged by it. Paradise could be any of us.”

Also Read: Whistle Acquires Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-Backed New Form

Nat Geo Documentary Films is behind the Oscar nominated “Free Solo,” about mountain climber Alex Honnold. Howard is also at work on a documentary on the life of opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.

THR was first to report.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Visits Camp Fire Devastation: ‘I’ve Seen the Spirit of America’ (Video)

‘Free Solo’ Directors Reveal Mountain Of Production Secrets, Explaining Alex Honnold’s Soloing Strategies

Read on: Deadline.

Climber Alex Honnold’s feat—ascending the 3,000-foot rock face of Yosemite’s El Capitan without ropes—is one of those spectacular human achievements that almost defy belief. But photographic evidence exists proving it really happened, in th…