Muhammad Ali is the subject of an upcoming four-hour documentary to be directed by Ken Burns. The filmmaker, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon began work on the project last year. They all worked together previously on the Jackie Robinson film from 2016 and 2013’s The Central Park Five. Burns explained in an official statement the importance of making the documentary:
“Muhammad Ali may be the most iconic figure of the 20th century, he arrived at exactly the right moment, amidst the tumult and upheaval of the 1960s, and he shaped his times with his powerful voice, mesmerizing presence, and achievements in the ring. But beyond the astonishing athletic gifts and mountain of charisma, there’s a very complex, dynamic man whose life story has yet to receive the comprehensive treatment it deserves.”
Ali died last year after decades of suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The two-part documentary is scheduled to air on PBS in 2021.