Basketball megastar LeBron James will produce his first movie, based on a real-life prank in which a humour writer fooled people into believing he was an NBA draft pick, a source told AFP.
The movie, which the Cleveland Caveliers forward is producing with New Line Cinema, is the first film for his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, which signed a contract in July with New Line’s parent company, Warner Brothers.
The film is inspired by a hoax carried out by Connor Toole, a writer for the humor website Elite Daily, a source briefed on the project told AFP, confirming a report on entertainment industry website Deadline Hollywood.
In June, Toole posed as a player selected as a second-round pick during the draft, where NBA basketball teams select new players from American universities and from overseas.
At close to 2m tall, all Toole had to do was put on a suit and mill about Barclays Center in Brooklyn where the draft took place. Mistaken as a player, he next headed out on the town in New York wearing a cap with the Utah Jazz’s emblem, and was regularly stopped by passersby for selfies.
Toole visited several bars where patrons and bartenders even offered him free drinks, and toasted him.
The less than three minute video of his escapades caught the attention of another production company, Madica, which proposed a collaboration with SpringHill.
New Line and SpringHill then acquired the rights to the video.
Despite it being James’ first foray into movie production, the basketball star is no stranger to showbiz. Last year he appeared in Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, which starred Amy Schumer.
He is also executive producer for Survivor’s Remorse, a show about a professional basketball player on the cable network Starz.
SpringHill, which James runs with his childhood friend Maverick Carter, also produced Becoming, a documentary athlete series that aired on Disney XD. – AFP