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Roberto Clemente’s family signs agreement to produce $60M biopic

Phoenix Media & Entertainment, the media division of the Puerto Rican company The Phoenix Fund, signed an agreement with the family of Roberto Clemente Walker to produce a biographical drama series or “biopic” about the life of the iconic Puerto Rican baseball player.

The project will be a dramatic series with actors that will present Clemente’s life from his birth to the legacy he left after his untimely death in December 1972.

The initial development of the project, which includes the scriptwriting, budgeting and main casting processes will happen this year, with an estimated investment of $500,000. Filming is projected to take place in 2024, with locations in Puerto Rico, Pittsburgh, Florida and New York — all significant in the life of the Puerto Rican baseball player.

The project will entail an estimated production budget of $60 million – $8 million to $10 million per episode – and the creation of 400 jobs in Puerto Rico.

Three streaming platforms have already shown interest in the project, including Disney, Amazon Prime and Netflix, executives noted.

As part of the agreement, the image rights and the life story of Roberto Clemente Walker are ceded to the partnership between the parties to produce the series of six to eight one-hour episodes. Phoenix Media & Entertainment will represent these rights and begin the development and commercialization of the project, executives said.

“On behalf of the Clemente family, we’re very excited about this alliance with The Phoenix Fund, for what it represents and because it is aligned with what the family has always wanted to achieve to honor the image and life of our father, Roberto Clemente,” said Luis Roberto Clemente, who signed the agreement with The Phoenix Fund on behalf of the family.

“We want his story to serve as an inspiration to the new generations for how he led his life and his career, and how he represented all Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans at a time when opportunities were scarce, and in which our father used sports as the medium to deliver his message,” he said.

“We believe that with this collaboration we will have an active role in capturing his story as it happened. As we always say, fans are fans because of how little they know. Through this effort, it will be possible to tell his story without having to edit and take out many of the crucial anecdotes from his life,” Clemente said.

Several documentaries and short films have been made of Roberto Clemente, but no project of this magnitude has ever been produced.

It should be noted that although past film projects about his life have been optioned by Disney Pictures, Sony Entertainment and Legendary Pictures, the project had never been achieved.

Puerto Rico-based Phoenix Media & Entertainment believes the time has come to make Roberto Clemente’s life, talent and legacy of service known to the world and the new generations, said Francisco J. Rivera, CEO of The Phoenix Fund.

“This is a project that is fully aligned with the mission of The Phoenix Fund and its affiliate Phoenix Media & Entertainment. We want the best of our island to be known to the world,” Rivera said.

“We do things right by doing the right things and this coincides in the person of Roberto Clemente: the athlete, the human being, the generosity that distinguished him and for which he is recognized, his interest in helping others, and the fact that he is a Puerto Rican,” Rivera said.

“All these qualities are what we want to be known to the world, because in Puerto Rico we have good people with great talents, including athletes, artists and other outstanding figures in various areas at the international level,” he added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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