PARK CITY, Utah-- Days after its Sundance premiere, the documentary Gleason was purchased by Amazon to be released this summer. The announcement was made on January 28th about the film documenting the Spokane native and former NFL star’s battle with ALS.
The movie premieres in Spokane on Thursday.
The documentary chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Steve Gleason, a Gonzaga Prep and Washington State University alum who became a defensive back for the New Orleans Saints. Gleason immortalized himself in team history in 2006, when he blocked a punt the Saint's first home game after Hurricane Katrina.
The blocked punt embodied the tenacity and resilience of the city, and later, of Gleason himself.
Gleason is the man leading the battle against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is a terminal disease with no cure. Diagnosed at 34, Gleason's body began shutting down.
Gleason's documentary begins at the end of his football career. Sports Illustrated released a preview of the film (which can be seen below) before the Sundance Film Festival in January.
His documentary started as a memory book and love letter to his unborn son. Gleason's voice was stripped away at an alarming rate, so he recorded the stories he wanted to read to his son.
The director of the documentary said they were handed 1,300 hours of private video from Gleason and his wife Michel.
Amazon has partnered with Open Road Films to co-release Gleason over the summer.