The Sussexes’ first Netflix production is a docu-series about Invictus athletes

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My favorite parts of any Olympic Games or Special Olympics programming are the personal-story packages the network will put together. For the Olympic Games, NBC spends a lot of money on those ten-minute or twenty-minute packages where we get to hear the athlete’s personal story, we get to see their families and how they train and what makes them tick. ESPN does a lot of those packages for pro athletes too, and I always marvel at how well-produced they are. Well, now imagine that kind of programming in a streamable show on Netflix! That’s exactly what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will do. Their first announcement for their Netflix production company is a behind-the-scenes docu-series about Invictus Games athletes and their training and what makes them tick. I will eat this up.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have secured their first Netflix greenlight – a documentary about the Invictus games. The pair’s Archewell Productions is making Heart of Invictus, directed by The White Helmets director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara.

Prince Harry has been instrumental in the launch of the Invictus Games, which kicked off in 2014 and was inspired by the Warrior Games attended by a number of injured officers.

It will follow a group of competitors, from around the globe, all service members who have suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses on their road to the Invictus Games The Hague, which will take place in 2022. The multi-episode series will join the competitors as they train, and along the way reveal stories of resilience and hope. The series will also follow the organizers as they work to prepare for the Games, postponed until next Spring, and as they partner with each nation’s team to support their competitors over the coming year.

Harry, the Duke of Sussex will appear on camera and serve as Executive Producer on the series alongside The Invictus Games Foundation, which he is the patron of.

“Since the very first Invictus Games back in 2014, we knew that each competitor would contribute in their own exceptional way to a mosaic of resilience, determination, and resolve. This series will give communities around the world a window into the moving and uplifting stories of these competitors on their path to the Netherlands next year. As Archewell Productions’ first series with Netflix, in partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation, I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead or prouder of the Invictus community for continuously inspiring global healing, human potential and continued service,” said Prince Harry.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Archewell Productions team are building an ambitious slate that reflects the values and causes they hold dear. From the moment I met them, it’s been clear that the Invictus Games hold a very special place in their hearts, and I couldn’t be happier that their first series for Netflix will showcase that for the world in a way never seen before,” added Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer, Netflix.

[From Deadline]

Harry was more than “instrumental” in the launch of Invictus, he founded the Invictus Games and it was his baby from start to finish. He built Invictus after seeing the Warrior Games in America, and he went back to England and began piecing together how the Warrior Games could be done as a multi-nation athletic competition. As for the show… it will be everything Harry loves, the recognition of veterans, showcasing their personal stories and the injuries they sustained and overcome, and the inspiration they draw from training for the Invictus Games. LOVE IT!!

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.

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57 Responses to “The Sussexes’ first Netflix production is a docu-series about Invictus athletes”

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  1. Merricat says:

    Perfect.

    • Ines says:

      I know, right? It’s going to be so inspiring!

      • Ania says:

        Yes! This is what we need in this world! Please let’s go back to making movies and docus about people who have done something great and leave reality shows behind! I loved netflix docus about politicians in USA, AOC&co, I felt so moved and inspired afterwards… looking forward to this one. And free publicity coming with BRF and RR making up „reasons” why this is so bad and unroyal!

    • Victoria says:

      Totes. I am here for it.

    • Enny says:

      Absolutely. Their first project is something so close to Harry’s heart, his charisma and empathy will just bleed into every facet of this.

  2. ThEHufflepuffLizLemon says:

    I can’t wait to hear how this is bad from the RR.

    /s

    • Becks1 says:

      Let’s see. Harry was a FT working royal when he founded the Invictus Games, therefore he owes the success of the games to the royal family, therefore this is all really just another #katemiddletonsuccessstory

      • Eating Popcorn says:

        She is so Keen!

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        The coverage of the games when they came out was awful from the RR. They minimized it and since this was a “pet project” of Harry’s they said it kept him from his real duty.
        They questioned funds spent. They never tallied a single meeting or event as work while Kate literally strolled from one building, through a courtyard, shook someone’s hand, entered the other side of the same building and it counted as 3 events.

        Harry shines particularly brightly in this altruistic arena. They can all rag on him, but he comes out winning.

      • Myra says:

        I’m sure we will learn how Kate was the inspiration behind Invictus Games.

      • Enny says:

        She’s not just a “kingmaker,” she’s also a soon-to-be Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker! Too bad she’s probably never met a single wounded warrior in her entire sheltered life…

    • Rapunzel says:

      It’s “Hollywood” don’t ya know? And Hollywood is always bad.

      Lol…the hate is so desperate. Like, someone commented that Harry and Meg are asking for privacy while asking people to watch their reality show at the same time. It’s a documentary that has nothing to do with their lives!!

      Watch the press treat this like Meg and Harry are doing a Keeping up with the Kardashians.

      This is in line with their brand and spotlights a great organization and good people. Anyone with a brain would see that…which means the RRs won’t.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I LOVE those “meet the athletes” stories for the olympics and such, so I’m really excited about this. My only question is – does this mean it wont come out until 2022? Or will there be some episodes now and some episodes in a year?

    I do find the references to Harry’s involvement with IG funny – how he’s been “instrumental” etc. One release – I think from the Invictus Games Foundation itself – does refer to him as the founding patron, so that’s something at least lol.

    • molly says:

      It’s extremely unfortunate that the games keep getting pushed back. I’m sure the series was designed with the actual competition as the climax. I’ll of course watch every minute, but I’m curious how it’ll be structured without the natural conclusion.

      • Carmen-JamRock says:

        On the contrary, just as with how H&M’s life has unfolded alongside timely opportunities that couldnt have been possible if they were still working for the BRF, the postponement of the Games in 2020 & 2021 led perfectly into this time and this opportunity for Archewell Productions & Netflix to climax into the return of the Games in 2022.
        Perfect. Timing.

    • Emile says:

      Projects like this are usually announced just before they go into production — so I think they’ll spend the next couple of months slowing filming material, then editing it later this year and early 2022, and then releasing it in the lead up to the IG Games, so it’ll also double up as promotion for that.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    This… is the perfect first project for their Netflix deal.

    It’s pathetic that some folks are hating on it. I read one comment that Harry is awful for dissolving his charity with Wills for “this film BS.” How sad do you have to be to get upset that someone is making a documentary on a disabled veteran’s charity…that they started themselves?

    • Cecilia says:

      That person has porridge for brains because invictus was never affiliated with william or the royal foundation. Invictus is quite literally their own foundation and harry is the founder.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Cecelia- right? This person wasn’t trying to say IG was part of the Royal Foundation though. He was trying to say that Harry was bad for giving up charity to do films. But this is a doc about a charity and is in support of the charity. It’s not like Harry is making rom-coms or superhero movies- this is charity related material on disabled Vets.

        The outrage is so dumb.

      • Becks1 says:

        This documentary is so perfect because it’s going to increase interest and awareness in the IGs. The statement from the foundation referenced additional funding so I imagine that the foundation is getting money from Archewell for doing this? Or maybe just hoping for additional donations?

      • L84Tea says:

        I think I am going to slip “porridge for brains” into my pocket and save it for the perfect moment. :-)

    • Ann says:

      “This film BS” will be great PR for the games and the athletes themselves and will inspire people. God, they are so clueless.

      • Nyro says:

        They’re not clueless. They’re jealous and disappointed that their future king is a flop who’s done next to nothing with his life. Had Harry let the lazy other brother tag along on this Netflix thing, they’d all love it. They know William’s a bum and hate that Harry’s success shines all the light onto William’s failure.

    • Ginger says:

      Those people are fans and will hate watch it hundreds of times. They are jealous that their little royals could never do something like this.

  5. Cecilia says:

    Couldn’t think of anything better!!! Cannot wait till it’s here

  6. Lauren says:

    This is truly perfect! This project embraces Harry’s love of the military, his dedication to supporting vets and his commitment to the invictus games. If the rr try and trash this project they will be trashing disabled veterans, not Harry.

  7. Izzy says:

    This is AWESOME. I can’t wait to see it. I’m gonna play it over and over and over. Even if I’m doing Pilates or walking the dog.

  8. Snuffles says:

    I pretty much expected this would be the first project. I’m sure they will do a fabulous job.

  9. Rapunzel says:

    And The Fail is already slanting this as “Harry will star” in the documentary… so expect some “Harry hogs limelight from disabled Vets” headlines when this drops.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      Um….nah. They only reserve that kind of criticism for M. I’m surprised they didnt say she will “star” in it.
      But methinks theyre gonna be very surprised with the finished product because when youre in the Invictus Family, youre in the Invictus Family. And M is in the Invictus Family. As well as H&M’s kids.
      Dont be surprised that among the behind-the-scenes insights into how the organizers prepare for the Games, will be a certain Founder of the Invictus Games. And his family.

  10. Sunday says:

    This is incredible; well done, Harry! It’s such a great first project for Netflix, it’s directly aligned with Harry’s core values, and it will spotlight Invictus to an American audience that might not be as familiar with it and therefore gives them the potential to expand further throughout North America. So, so good. Can’t wait to watch!

  11. TheOriginalMia says:

    Perfect decision by the Invictus Foundation to partner with Netflix. Influx of money and increased visibility for the Games and the athletes. I did find the characterization of Harry’s involvement rather odd, but maybe that’s how Harry wants it.

  12. S808 says:

    Really excited to see this!! This is a whole new level for IG, love this for them!! This partnership would’ve been perfect for the National Theater as well.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      We just have to wait and see, wont we.

      PS: Dont underestimate M’s determination to always go from concept to conclusion with all the tasks she takes on.

  13. ABritGuest says:

    So those wondering about their Spotify&Netflix content should be happy at this first project announcement. If it’s like Rising Hope I will eat this up.

    This is great for Invictus. If I was one of the patronages that the Queen took back especially national theatre & rugby patronages that wanted to keep them- I’d be pissed. Their work could have had a Netflix spotlight.

    • S808 says:

      I’d be so so sick especially since both openly says they wanted to keep H&M.

    • Sid says:

      Can you imagine the National Theatre? They lost out on potentially having the chance to broadcast to millions of people worldwide one of their plays or maybe a documentary on their history, a behind-the-scenes, their community outreach, or even how the pandemic has affected the performing arts and artists. That kind of promotion is priceless. Like S808 said, I would be sick.

      • ABritGuest says:

        So I read that this doc series will air next Spring so guess it will also be a preview for the Netherlands games.

        And yeah Sid could have been a great platform for the national theatre. Apparently Harry’s production fee is going to the Invictus Foundation so national theatre also lost out on potential revenue stream which would have been handy as the industry recovers from the pandemic.

      • SwirlmamaD says:

        Cutting off their nose to spite their face, as my grandmother would have said. So shortsighted on the RF part, taking away those patronages. So looking forward to seeing the finished result when this drops!

  14. Myra says:

    I loved Rising Phoenix so cannot wait for this, as well.

  15. Loretta says:

    This is great!

  16. Harper says:

    So next week I expect to see Will announcing a multi-part documentary: Earthshot: The Making of the Prize that Saved the WORLD, starring Prince Other Brother.

    I’m excited for Harry. He must be crazy busy.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Oh, that has already been announced. In the lead up to the Earthshot Award show there are going to be 5 shows broadcast by the BBC on the nominees.

  17. Jaded says:

    Willnot’s jaw must be flexing so hard you’ll hear it snap around the world. Well done Harry!!

  18. TeamAwesome says:

    This is so exciting!!!! One of my favorite things Harry has ever featured in was the special they filmed when he went to the South Pole with Walking with the Wounded.

  19. Pocket Litter says:

    May I be blessed with life to see it.

  20. Freddy says:

    I’ll start hoarding tissue now—this is going to be the kind of show where the tears will be flowing like river rapids!

  21. aquarius64 says:

    Wonderful start project for Netflix. The rota rats and BM because their hit pieces post Oprah interview did not derail the Netflix contract.

  22. Chelsea says:

    So the newly announced director of content at Archewell was just recently nominated for 5 academy awards and has Emmys to his name and now the filmmakers behind their first show are both Academy Award winners…they’re not messing around. Great job keeping this under wraps and launching it with no leaks.

    And a huge hattip to Harry for getting the Invictus Games Foundation a credit as Executive Producer for this so that Netflix would provide extra funding for the foundation. Just brilliant. Harry’s killing it.

  23. Dollycoa says:

    Invictus is incredible. My friends husband had to give up the military after his leg was amputated. She said the only thing that kept him going through months of rehab was that he wanted to be considered for Invictus. It was then postponed so I dont know what will happen with him now, but hes through the rehab and they have a new baby, so hes in a much better place. But he may not have made it to this stage after going thtough some very dark times. Invictus and Sentebale are Harry’s legacy. William is never going to achieve anything of that magnitude

    • NiqGee says:

      That’s great for your friend’s husband. I hope he keeps up his training to be able to compete whenever the games come back. That would be so awesome. And, yay new baby! Babies are the best!

  24. L4frimaire says:

    This is a great first production for them and a big flex. Well done Harry. Looking forward to seeing it.

  25. JanetDR says:

    I just love this! Exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for. It’s going be be great!

  26. zinjazin says:

    That is awsome very commendable. Looking forward to it. Good on all of the participants!

  27. Travelin says:

    This is amazing! They are so impressive.

  28. Over it says:

    Who doesn’t love and respect and cheer for Harry and all his incredible work. I am always so proud of the gentleman he has become, father husband and king of hearts.