Fans of American Gladiators are in for a treat. ESPN+ is airing The American Gladiators Documentary this May, directed by Ben Berman and produced by ESPN Films and VICE Studios.
The first part of the film will premiere on Tuesday, May 30th at 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by the second half on Wednesday, May 31st at 9:00 p.m. ET. This is another addition to ESPN’s 30 for 30, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning series, and promises to provide “an unconventional approach to the epic tale” covering the history of the series and its competitors.
American Gladiators was a hit competitive television series from 1986-1996 pitting amateur contestants against professional gladiators, quickly becoming one of the most popular syndicated shows at the time.
The documentary spans the entire franchise with behind-the-scenes stories that “begins as a traditional sports documentary soon gives way to bigger themes of greed, divergent narratives, and ultimately questions how history itself is written.”
With a focus on the show’s unique creator, Johnny Ferraro, along with exclusive interviews with Deron, McBee (Malibu), Michale Horton (Gemini), Lynn Williams (Sabre), William Billy Smith (Thunder), and Salina Bartunek (Elektra), this is certain to be a documentary that tells a wild story.
“We’re very excited to finally get this story out into the world, and you can trust that it’ll take you to some weird places. Come for the 90’s nostalgia, but stay for the Elvis impersonators, the burps, the mental torment, the murder plots, aliens, and of course the undeniable atrocity of America’s dark history. And sports. It’s got some sports too.” – Ben Berman
ESPN Films began producing sports documentaries in March of 2008, becoming an industry leader in filmmaking while producing over 100 sports-centric films. The American Gladiators Documentary will be available on ESPN+ immediately after premiering, where subscribers can also find the entire 30 for 30 collection.