“D. Wade: Life Unexpected,” a new feature documentary from ESPN Films and Imagine Documentaries, will debut on Sunday, February 23, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film, directed and executive produced by Wade’s long-time friend and cinematographer Bob Metelus, chronicles three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade’s experience on and off the court as he enters into his final year in the league, and reflects on personal and professional victories and set-backs throughout his legendary career.
The film includes scenes from hundreds of hours of never-before-seen home movies, exclusive video diaries, and all-access verité footage shot over the last decade as Metelus has had unparalleled access to Wade’s life behind-the-scenes for years. With a tremendous archive, the film explores elements of Wade’s world through his dynamic basketball career and his personal journey, documenting his meteoric rise from Marquette student to global icon, 13-time NBA All-Star and Olympic champion. Through candid home movies and Metelus’ fly-on-the-wall verité footage, Wade takes the audience on a tour through his celebrated career, his deeply personal family struggles and his role as a husband and father all while navigating his final year in the league.
“Bob’s film is a raw, intimate and unfiltered look at not only a super-star athlete, but a father, son and husband who’s continuously risen above life’s challenges to create a better world for himself and those closest to him,” says Wilkes.
Beginning with intimate details about his life growing up in Chicago, continuing on through his emergence as a star at Marquette and then with the Miami Heat, the documentary covers every chapter of Wade’s path. From dealing with drug raids on his house as a young child; to becoming a father as a college sophomore; to the long and painful custody battle for his children years later; as well as his relationship with his wife, actress Gabrielle Union-Wade and the challenges they’ve encountered; and embracing his child Zion’s gender identity, the film does not shy away from the difficult topics. With exclusive behind-the-scenes basketball footage – including extensive coverage of the free agency drama of 2010 and the moment Wade learned LeBron James was joining the Heat – plus interviews with pivotal figures from his life and career including Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Pat Riley, Gabrielle Union-Wade, the film is a memorable look back at one of the defining careers of this generation.
“I’m excited to share a side of myself with the world that not many people may know,” said Wade. “This deeply personal documentary will give fans a never-before seen look not only at the behind-the-scenes of my sixteen year career in the NBA, but will peel back the curtain on my personal life – the highs, the lows and everything in between – showing how I created my own path to get to where I am today.”
By Samantha Ofole-Prince