Muhammad Ali Series ‘The Greatest’ Starring Jaalen Best Greenlighted By Prime Video From Michael B. Jordan & Ben Watkins

Prime Video has formally ordered The Greatest limited series, from executive producer Michael B. Jordan (The Creed franchise) and executive producer/showrunner Ben Watkins (Cross). Considered the first authorized scripted series about the life of Muhammad Ali done with access to his estate, The Greatest will star Jaalen Best (All American: Homecoming) as the boxing legend.

The series will feature the defining moments in Ali’s life and career — both in and out of the ring — that have been well documented as well as moments that took place outside the spotlight. The world remembers an icon, but The Greatest is about a man, a husband, a father, a brother, and a son.

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It is produced by Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, which has an overall deal with Amazon MGM Studios, Watkins’ Blue Monday Productions, Authentic Studios, Roc Nation, Polygram Entertainment, a Universal Music Group partner, and Grace: A Storytelling Company, with Ali’s widow Lonnie Ali executive producing.

”Muhammad Ali’s is an awe-inspiring story of one of the most significant global figures of the 20th century,” said Vernon Sanders, head of television, Amazon MGM Studios. “We are proud to work with Ben alongside Outlier, Roc Nation, Polygram, Grace, Authentic Brands, Lonnie Ali, and the very talented Jaalen Best, who we know will do a remarkable job bringing The Greatest to life for our global Prime Video customers.”

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Watkins has been juggling The Greatest with another Prime Video series. He is an executive producer and showrunner of Cross, which is based on characters from James Patterson’s best-selling Alex Cross books.

“To be trusted with the honor of telling the story of my most cherished hero, Muhammad Ali, is humbling and scary, and a dream come true,” he said. “I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride, responsibility, and most of all, gratitude.”

Lonnie Ali spoke of Best’s casting as her late husband.

“I’m thrilled to be producing The Greatest alongside Ben Watkins who captured the essence and nuance of Muhammad,” she said. “With Jaalen Best, we have uncovered a soulful gem. He is such a talented young man who not only embodies Muhammad, but exudes his resilience, courage, charisma and confidence.”

Fellow executive producer Josh Wakely spent years working on The Greatest, securing the life story rights to Ali and bringing the project to Amazon.

“It’s been a longtime dream to tell Ali’s remarkable life story as a television series, which is the only way to truly capture his greatness, and I’m grateful to Lonnie and the assembled team who also share my passion for getting The Greatest to the screen,” he said.

Alongside Watkins and Jordan, Outlier Society president Elizabeth Raposo will executive produce. Lonnie Ali, along with Authentic Brand Group’s Corey Salter, Marc Rosen and Matthew Gross, will serve as executive producers on the series. Additional executive producers will include Roc Nation; Michele Anthony, Boyd Muir, and Co-EP David Blackman for Polygram; and Josh Wakely via his Grace: A Storytelling Company. Stefano Agosto, Executive Vice President of Television at Outlier Society will also oversee the project on behalf of Outlier.

The Greatest is produced by Amazon MGM Studios in association with Outlier Society, Authentic Studios, Blue Monday Productions, Roc Nation, Polygram Entertainment, and Grace: A Storytelling Company.

Ali has been notably played on screen by himself in 1977’s The Greatest, by Terrence Howard in the 2000 ABC movie King of the World, David Ramsey in the 2000 Fox movie Ali: An American Hero, Will Smith in the 2001 feature biopic Ali and Eli Goree in the 2020 Amazon Prime original film One Night in Miami.

Best is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment and GGSSC. Watkins is repped by UTA and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum.

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