Last week it was revealed Tom Brady will have his own "The Last Dance"-type documentary titled "The Man in the Arena."
ESPN will air the nine-episode series, with each episode covering one of the ex-New England Patriots quarterback's nine Super Bowl runs. Gotham Chopra, a name Pats fans may recognize as the director of "Tom vs. Time," is a producer for the docuseries which is set to premiere in 2021.
Chopra recently caught up with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB to chat about the upcoming documentary and what fans should expect.
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“It’s not Tom Brady’s 'Last Dance,' " Chopra told Breer. “It’s not that. That may or may not exist 20 years from now, I don’t know. There’s this sort of immediacy to this.… The premise [of "The Last Dance"] was telling stories about the seasons, whereas [Brady’s], it does feel a little bit more real time. Tom continues to be an active player. So the idea is, ‘O.K., let’s talk about these nine seasons, this incredible body of work across 20 years, and how it’s still sort of affecting him.’”
“Jordan’s sitting on a couch, looking back, literally looking at stuff on the iPad, reminiscing about things. Tom’s kind of, just when you’re talking to him, it’s still very fresh, because he’s still processing a lot of things that may have happened across a season.”
As for who else will make appearances in the series, that remains to be seen. Chopra notes the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the interview process, but important figures in Brady's career such as Bill Belichick and Drew Bledsoe have already been reached out to.
“This is inside the mind of Tom,” Chopra said. “So we’ll ask Tom, I’ll use the most obvious one, 2001, What was it like working with Drew [Bledsoe] that season? Got it, now we go talk to Drew, and get his perspective on that. So yeah, there are other voices, other players, coaches, etc., and people off the field that had a lot of influence across those specific seasons that we’re trying to get. Now, we’ve got the added layer of complexity of getting to those people, like everyone else in the world, we’re dealing with that.”
Along with the Super Bowl appearances, Chopra says "The Man in the Arena" will cover both the "Spygate" and "Deflate-gate" controversies. As for whether Brady's 2020 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be included in the series, Chopra says there are no plans for that as of now.