National Geographic is currently in production of a new documentary series that is currently going by the working title of “Endurance”, which is about the incredible story of “the epic search to find the lost ship of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.”

Deadline is reporting that BAFTA-nominated director Natalie Hewit, along with Oscar winners Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, who worked on “The Rescue” and “Free Solo” have joined the project to direct.

One year ago, Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, was was discovered eerily intact on the Weddell Sea floor near the northernmost part of the Antarctic, more than a hundred years after the vessel sank. The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust have organized and funded the mission to find the historic wreck.

Back in late 1914, Shackleton and his crew of 27 set sail on an exploratory mission endorsed by Winston Churchill, then Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty. The ship became trapped in sea ice, forcing the crew to quit the vessel and set up camp on an ice floe. Then, on November 27, 1915, Endurance sank. As one crewman wrote, “She went down bow first, her stern raised in the air. She then gave one quick dive, and the ice closed over her forever.”

That disastrous development set off one of history’s most extraordinary stories of adventure and survival as the crew battled the elements to stay alive. Every one of them was rescued eventually after an ordeal of four months. In the meantime, Endurance herself came to rest 10,000 feet below the ice, only to be located last March.


Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of Documentary Films at National Geographic, said in a statement.

“We are delighted to share this inspiring story of exploration, grit and perseverance with the world.  Chai and Jimmy are bold, ambitious and nuanced storytellers, perfectly cast to bring this gripping story to life, along with their exceptionally talented co-director Nat Hewit, who has a unique first-hand perspective as part of the Endurance22 expedition. We feel privileged to share this astounding discovery with audiences around the world and to dramatize the extraordinary tale of survival that started it all.”

Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin added:

“We have dedicated our careers to telling stories about the edge of human experience, exploration and possibility.  Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance is the definitive true story of adventure and survival against all odds. With the discovery of his long-lost ship — which sank over 100 years ago in the unforgiving Weddell Sea — by a group of fearless scientists, we are able to revisit Shackleton’s story of hardship, bravery and leadership with a fresh lens. We are thrilled to be able to work with Nat Hewit and the team and look forward to using cutting-edge technology to bring this story of friendship, grit, inspiration and discovery to contemporary audiences of all ages.”

This new expedition to find Endurance was led by polar geographer Dr. John Shears with marine archaeologist Mensun Bound as director of exploration and Nicolas (Nico) Vincent as expedition subsea manager. Joining them on board the South African icebreaker Agulhas II was a crew of scientists, archaeologists, and a team of experienced extreme environment filmmakers, led by Hewit and Dan Snow, who documented the events leading up to the historic discovery in real time for History Hit.

Natalie Hewit added:

“It was the adventure of a lifetime to be part of the Endurance22 expedition, and I’m excited to be collaborating with Chai, Jimmy, Ruth and the rest of the team to bring this incredible story to audiences everywhere.  What happened to Shackleton and his crew on the Weddell Sea — and how they responded and persevered — is the stuff of legend. Having been part of this amazing discovery, I am so honored to have the opportunity to tell the inspiring story of Shackleton and his crew, capturing important history while showcasing the very cutting edge in deep sea exploration and filmmaking technology that helped us to make history in March 2022.”

This new documentary is going to be produced by Consequential’s Academy Award and multiple Emmy winner Ruth Johnston (Summer of Soul), Hunger Ward, Master of Light). Vasarhelyi and Chin will produce under their company Little Monster Films. Academy Award nominee and five-time Emmy winner Bob Eisenhardt will serve as editor and producer. Executive producers include Dan Jones and Paul Woolf with Little Dot Studios, Consequential’s Ted Richane, History Hit’s Dan Snow and Bill Locke, Anna Barnes of Little Monster Films, and Carolyn Bernstein with National Geographic Documentary Films.

Exclusive partners on Endurance (wt) include Little Dot Studios (an All3Media company); impact-driven production company Consequential; and History Hit, the SVOD and content platform co-founded by historian Snow.

“Endurance” will be exclusively released on the National Geographic linear channels and on Disney+.  However, a release date has not yet been announced.


Are you looking forward to watching this new documentary?  Let us know on social media!



For the latest Disney+ news, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

Related Article