‘Branson’ Chronicles the Rise of a Billionaire

He’s conquered the skies (in more ways than one), tackled the music industry head-on and even managed to nab his own private island – suffice to say Sir Richard Branson has lived an incredible life. Now, Foxtel-backed streaming service BINGE is chronicling the billionaire’s rise to fame in a new four-part documentary series aptly titled Branson.

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Richard Branson Virgin Galactic

Image: Getty Images

Back in July of 2021, in the days leading up to Richard Branson’s historic flight as the first passenger to reach space in his own spacecraft, the billionaire sat down for a conversation with filmmaker Chris Smith (100 Foot Wave). What Smith ultimately created was an expansive 70-year journey, following all of Branson’s exploits and daredevilry, which helped grow his businesses and feed his insatiable thirst for high-stakes adventure. Illustrated by decades of archival and home video footage, Branson reveals the highs–and the lows–of a man driven by risk in both business and pleasure.

Having dropped out of school, Branson began his entrepreneurial career as a 15-year-old publisher of a student magazine and went on to become a millionaire by the age of 22 with the booming success of Virgin Records. He launched the airline Virgin Atlantic soon after, along with a number of other Virgin-branded businesses, culminating in the launch of his commercial spaceflight company Virgin Galactic in 2004.

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Sir Richard Branson in 1984 | Image: Virgin Airlines

The four-part series premiered on BINGE on December 2nd with an episode exploring Branson’s early years. The remaining episodes launch each Friday on BINGE and will cover the rise of Virgin Atlantic, as well as Branson’s efforts to attract media attention to his brand. Among his audacious antics, the series highlights Branson’s death-defying balloon adventure across the Atlantic in 1986 and his subsequent Pacific Ocean voyage where he again risked death.

The series also highlights his business battles, including the ‘Dirty Tricks’ lawsuit with British Airways, which ended in a libel suit win for Branson. The series finale will track the arduous history of Virgin Galactic, from conception to test flights, and the controversial bid from Virgin Atlantic to obtain government support for the airline during the Covid-19 pandemic. Following 17 years of research, testing, accidents, and setbacks, the series culminates in Branson’s 2021 flight, in which Branson realises his ultimate dream.

Branson poster

Image: BINGE

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CONTRIBUTOR

Chad Kennerk

Chad Kennerk is a storyteller, entertainment writer, and self-proclaimed cinephile. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from The Actors Studio in New York City, a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University, and attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He serves as the Digital Editor of Film Review, and as an Analyst/Staff Writer for Boxoffice Pro.