Ava DuVernay's Nipsey Hussle Doc Lands at Netflix After Major Bidding War

Nipsey Hussle performs at the STAPLES Center during the BET Experience on June 23, 2018 in Los Angeles
Nipsey Hussle performs at the STAPLES Center during the BET Experience on June 23, 2018 in Los Angeles
Photo: by Ser Baffo (Getty Images for BET)

Netflix is taking a victory lap after landing rights to a feature-length documentary about the life of Nipsey Hussle. Streamers including Apple and Amazon are also reported to have vied for the project in an intense bidding war that ended in an eight-figure deal.

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Ava DuVernay will direct in a collaboration between her ARRAY film collective and the late rapper’s Marathon Films. According to Deadline, Nipsey’s family contacted DuVernay directly because of “their admiration for her work on the likes of 13th and When They See Us.”

The Los Angeles rapper-turned-activist had become a major force for change in his native South Los Angeles, where he operated his groundbreaking Marathon Clothing store, and had opened local businesses to benefit the community and as a counter to the scourge of gun violence. But the 2020 Grammy-winning lyricist’s reach and influence in hip-hop and far beyond—a book club based on Nipsey’s reading list, for example, sprouted in Oakland, Calif., and spawned numerous chapters—made him a powerful figure in the culture. His untimely death at 33 continues to reverberate nearly a year later.

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DuVernay was famously snubbed by the Golden Globes during awards season for her directorial work on last year’s When They See Us, but the acclaimed Netflix series helped shine a much-needed light on the Exonerated Five.

Editor & Writer. Carefree Black Girl doing carefree black girl things. Child of Zora, Toni, Sonia.

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DISCUSSION

Wow, it took Hollywood almost 50 years before we saw an MLK biopic, Netflix coming in hot and taking on all that work in record time. Sweet.