CNN Films Acquires, Co-Produces ‘9/11’

By A.J. Katz Comment

CNN has acquired ‘9/11,’ the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary which focuses on the World Trade Center terrorist attacks that changed the nation almost 15 years ago.

The film is directed, filmed, and executive produced by French filmmakers Gédéon and Jules Naudet, and retired New York firefighter James Hanlon.  CNN Films will work with the trio to update the film for 2016, and will keep worldwide rights for the franchise. The documentary originally aired on CBS in 2002.

Part of the update will include a narration from actor, producer, and founder of The Leary Firefighters Foundation, Denis Leary, who recalls the events of that fateful morning from the site of the attack.

The updated two hour film: 9/11 Fifteen Years Later will debut with limited commercial interruption on Sunday, 9/11/2016, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on CNN. It will premiere at 6 a.m., with encore broadcasts at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on CNN International.

“Gédéon, Jules, and James have created the defining film of record for this moment in American history, and we are honored they trusted CNN Films to collaborate with them to update their extraordinary work,” said Amy Entelis, evp of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide. “We are also so pleased that Denis Leary will present this remarkable film for our audience,” she continued.

Interestingly, the Naudets and Hanlon were on hand at a nearby firehouse on the morning of 9/11, to film the training of a rookie New York firefighter, when the first plane crashed into One World Trade.

The brothers followed members of the fire company, and filmed rescue efforts of the first responders.  They also captured video from inside the World Trade Center during the attack, and filmed from within and around Tower One during the collapse of both towers.

The filmmakers also catch up with some of the firefighters and their families. They speak with Daniel Nigro, NYC’s Fire Commissioner, and ask questions about the NYFD’s readiness in the event of another terrorist attack in New York.