The American Gladiators Documentary | ESPN 30 for 30 Teaser Trailer Released
ESPN has released a new teaser trailer for the upcoming 30 for 30 documentary, a two-part film directed by Ben Berman (“The Amazing Johnathan Documentary”), Tuesday 30th May 2023, at 8:30p.m. ET and Wednesday, May 31, at 9p.m. ET. The film takes an unconventional approach to the epic tale of the famed reality-competition show. What begins as a traditional sports documentary soon gives way to bigger themes of greed, divergent narratives, and ultimately questions how history itself is written. The film, also executive produced by VICE Studios, will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after its premiere, along with the rest of the 30 for 30 library.
From 1989 to 1996, American Gladiators was one of the most popular syndicated programs in television, a competition show that predated the reality TV era but used many of the same techniques to attract viewers. Every week, “amateur” contestants would go up against a cast of “professional” gladiators in a range of physical competitions, setting up David versus Goliath matchups that were popular with big television audiences but also earned considerable criticism for being “crash TV”.
The show’s cast and crew look back on it all, with their memories complicated by regret over what it did to many of the gladiators’ lives. And as the behind-the-scenes story of the series is told, from the beginning of the film, the central, most compelling character of the story is clear: Johnny Ferraro, the creator of American Gladiators, a former Elvis impersonator from Erie, PA who came to Hollywood with a dream of putting the show on screen and ended up with a singular success.
Check out the teaser trailer below:
The film features original interviews with Johnny Ferraro, Deron McBee (‘Malibu’), Michael Horton (‘Gemini’), Lynn ‘Red’ Williams (‘Sabre’), the late William Billy Smith (‘Thunder’) and Salina Bartunek (‘Elektra’). The documentary is executive produced by ESPN Films and VICE Studios and produced by Ben Berman, Kirk Johnson, Russell Wayne Groves, Danny Gabai and Andrew Freston.
Are you going to be checking out this new 30 For 30 documentary?