Michael B. Jordan’s production company Outlier Society and Amazon Studios have been working to diversify filmmaking and with Jay Z’s Roc Nation they are all behind The Greatest, a new limited series about the life of Muhammed Ali, according to a recent interview Jordan had with Deadline. Outlier Society and Amazon Studios first inked a deal two years ago around February 2019 according to Deadline.
Jordan is the star of Amazon’s Alexa Superbowl commercial and is set to star in a new Amazon Studios action movie franchise co-produced by his Outlier Society as well. Jordan and Amazon Studios’ Head Jennifer Salke tell Deadline that the series is being written by Josh Wakely (Beat Bugs). The limited series will not only be executive produced by Outlier Society, Amazon’s Salke, Jay Z’s Roc Nation but will also include the involvement of Ali’s estate in some capacity.
Ryan Coogler’s Rocky franchise spinoff Creed is one of Jordan’s most notable performances and roles to date. Since he is so tied and closely associated with the character Adonis Johnson from the spinoff franchise the studio will find another actor to play the titular role in The Greatest. According to Deadline, Jordan sees this as an opportunity to tell the story of one of his heroes from behind the scenes. Jordan told Deadline “It’s an incredible honor and I bring tons of respect to it… It’s a healthy weight to carry, to be able to tell the story of Muhammad Ali. It’s called The Greatest right now and we’re partnered with Roc Nation on the music side of things. It’s a project where we’ve partnered with the estate and we’ll be able to tell this story with no red tape. It’s a limited series that will really dive into the life of Muhammad Ali. I’m not going to be too specific beyond that, but we’ll be able to get to know him in ways we haven’t had a chance to before. I’m really excited about it, as a boxing enthusiast and since this is the world I’ve been living in the past five or six years with the Creed franchise. To be able to honor Muhammad Ali and elaborate on his legacy is something I’m really excited about, and I know Jen and Amazon are as well.”
The iconic boxer Muhammad Ali has had films made of him before like the Michael Mann directed 2001 Will Smith (Gemini Man) film Ali and most recently the Regina King directed 2020 quartet cast One Night In Miami where Eli Goree (The CW’s The 100) portrayed Ali. Both films told Ali’s story in the ring and as a civil rights activist, but not much else. Jordan said to Deadline “People know Muhammad Ali from his boxing days, but this is an opportunity to go beyond the ring, and more into the man. It’s going to give more of a 360 degree view of who he was. And no, I’m not playing that guy, I can say that for sure, and we are still in early stages here and can’t say too much. We are still putting the pieces together, but it feels like something to look forward to in the future.” – via Deadline.
— Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) February 8, 2021
“Michael and I have been talking about this for a long time, way pre-pandemic, It’s our quest at Amazon and my personal desire to make sure we are telling the kinds of stories that can entertain and inspire people all over the world. I looked at our slate and realized we needed to quickly escalate ourselves as a home for a curated group of artists who care about that same thing.
You can see in the upcoming slate the work that has been done in the past few years that shows where we’re going. When I started spending time with Michael and hearing what he wanted to do, I thought, he’s obviously a hugely talented actor but when I speak with him I feel like I do when I speak to someone like Nicole Kidman. He’s a producer, at heart. He has a huge vision and ambition for what he wants to build. It was directly in line with where I want to go. We had such shared values and excitement over what path to take. It really was about a meeting of the minds. It is such a great fit for Amazon to be a home for him. That’s how it started.” – Jennifer Salke, Amazon Studios Head, via Deadline.
Jordan plays the seductive voice for Alexa in Amazon’s new commercial campaign. The Superbowl spot serves as a promotional piece for Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Amazon’s new action film starring Jordan as Navy SEAL John Clarke. The film is set to be released on April 30, 2021 forAmazon Prime Video. Jordan Stated to Deadline “I’m so excited about Without Remorse. As a guy who grew up playing Rainbow Six, this was an opportunity to dive into the John Kelly/John Clarke character and give him a fresh start. Growing this thing out into a franchise is something we look forward to, and we felt Without Remorse is a perfect vehicle to do that as the first big splash I will make over at Amazon.”
View this post on Instagram
“It [his career] has consistently gotten more diverse as it has expanded to wonder what is possible. You see a business and a brand like Amazon and my ambition is to grow an ecosystem, where one hand washes the other and we help each other out. They had the resources and the like mindedness and ambition and a need for someone like myself. This is something I see living across content creation, philanthropy, and including Audible, which is based in my hometown of Newark, New Jersey. You see the potential for things to cross pollinate. To see Without Remorse spin across to Alexa, and the way we used it to help the summer Drive-In series, we were able to cross pollinate through the various verticals that Amazon has. The sky’s the limit. You’ve got to look toward the future. To have a home where they will bet on me, where they believe in me as much as I believe in myself, and give me the room to grow…this feels like an awesome fit. Getting to know Jen through my TV deal being at Amazon, we have gotten to know each other organically, we knew it was a good fit.” – Jordan said in a Deadline interview, via Deadline.