Will Smith Will Travel ‘Pole to Pole’ for National Geographic Series – Billboard
Will Smith will embark on another adventure with National Geographic.
The actor and producer will star in and executive produce a series titled Pole to Pole, which will stream on Disney+ as part of the Nat Geo hub. As the title implies, the show will follow Smith and his film crew as they go on a 26,000-mile trek from the South Pole to the North Pole, crossing all of Earth’s biomes and spending time in communities along the way. The show will film over more than 100 days; a start date and premiere haven’t yet been announced.
Pole to Pole is one of several series orders Nat Geo announced during its time before the Television Critics Association on Monday. They include projects produced by James Cameron, Jon Favreau and the BBC Studios Natural History Unit and an adventure show starring magician David Blaine.
“At National Geographic, our strategy is to tell bold, best-in-class stories that ignite curiosity and inspire people to explore and care about our world,” said National Geographic Content president Courteney Monroe in a statement. “With premium, creatively ambitious shows from the very best storytellers in the world, we are bringing awe and wonder to the lives of global Disney+ subscribers with wildly entertaining National Geographic documentary series, feature documentary films, epic natural history and fact-based scripted drama.”
Pole to Pole will reunite Smith and the the team behind his Nat Geo series Welcome to Earth, including producers Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures. Smith executive produces via his Westbrook banner along with the company’s Miguel Melendez and Terence Carter; Nutopia’s Jane Root and Peter Lovering; and Protozoa’s Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel.
The other shows Nat Geo announced for Disney+ Monday (Feb. 7) are:
– Great Migrations, which will use state of the art technology to track animal migrations across a variety of environments. From Plimsoll Productions; Tom Hugh-Jones and Martha Holmes exec produce, and Sarah Gibbs is the showrunner.
– Home, from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit. Described as “the most ambitious and definitive portrait of life on Earth ever attempted,” the multi-season series will chronicle life in all its forms on all seven continents and five oceans.
– Lion, from Jon Favreau, producer Mike Gunton and BBC Studios Natural History Unit. The series, currently in pre-production, will follow a single pride of lions for four years — an unprecedented amount of time for a natural history series.
– Secrets of the Elephants and Secrets of the Octopus, from James Cameron, Oxford Scientific Films and SeaLight Pictures. The two series will continue the Secrets of … Earth Day franchise inaugurated last year with Secrets of the Whales. Cameron and Maria Wilhelm exec produce both series. Oxford Scientific Films’ Lucinda Axelsson is also an EP on Elephants, while SeaLight Pictures’ Colette Beaudry and Adam Geiger are EPs on Octopus.
– Sentient, which explores levels of sentience in all forms of life, from plants to primates. Aronofsky and Handel exec produce for Protozoa Pictures along with Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz of Wildstar Films. Hannah Gibson is the showrunner.
– Super/Natural, from Cameron’s Earthship and Plimsoll Productions. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, the series will uncover “the secret powers and super-senses of the world’s most extraordinary animals.” Cameron, Wilhelm, Martha Holmes and Tom Hugh-Jones exec produce; showrunners are Matt Brandon and Bill Markham.
– The Biggest Little Farm, a series based on the 2019 feature documentary of the same name (which also spawned an Earth Day special on Nat Geo last year) following John and Molly Chester’s efforts to revive a dormant Ventura County farm. Erica Messer, Sandra Keats and John Chester exec produce.
– Beyond Belief With David Blaine, following the magician as he explores cultures around the world and their unique and sometimes magical histories and practices. From Imagine Documentaries; exec produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Blaine, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Matthew Akers and showrunner Toby Oppenheimer.
– The Epic Adventures of Bertie Gregory, following the 27-year-old filmmaker to locations around the world in search of animals surviving under harsh conditions. It’s set to premiere later this year. Wildstar Films produces; Vanessa Berlowitz, Anwar Mamon and James Brickell are the EPs.
– Photographer, which will chronicle the stories of some of greatest photographers. E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo) exec produce.