Pasadena, Calif. — ESPN Films is ramping up its shorts production, making a bevy of announcements at the Winter 2015 TCA Press Tour, including a partnership with Marvel and the launch of “Friday Night Movie Night” on SportsCenter.
ESPN and corporate cousin Marvel are teaming up on feature 1 of 1 — Genesis and short film series 1 of 1 — Origins.
1 of 1 — Genesis, which is available on select digital platforms, seeks to connect Marvel’s super heroes with athletes.
1 of 1 — Origins is set to premiere this summer on SportsCenter’s “Friday Night Movie Night,” which launches on ESPN Feb. 6 with Spike Lee’s series Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joints.
“Now that we have ‘Friday Night Movie Night’ we have a permanent home, a weekly permanent home, that we can air a new short every week with SportsCenter,” said Dan Silver, ESPN Films senior director of development. “These shorts not only in the form of distribution but also provide us a great opportunity to tell stories that we haven’t been able to tell before.”
Also among the new shorts announced Wednesday was Eva Longoria’s Versus, which looks at stories in the sports world where people are challenged by social constructs.
“As I looked at the history of sports,” said Longoria, who executive produces the series, “There’s so many stories that are told about physical disabilities or when an athlete overcame a physical disability and I thought, ‘what about when athletes or people overcome a moral obstacle or something questioning values?’”
Versus will premiere in May on SportsCenter’s “Friday Night Movie Night.”
“What’s great is they’ll all premiere on SportsCenter,” says Silver of the shorts. “We are now looking at short films as a sustainable and important part of our business.”