James Franco in talks to direct movie about the creation of ESPN

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network – simply known as ESPN to most folk – is recognized the world over for its constant coverage of all things sports and, more importantly, for playing around the clock in every bar, barbershop, and airport you can find. It was only a matter of time before the network’s rise to fame was documented in a feature film, and now word is none other than James Franco is being sought to direct that very movie.


Collider got the scoop that Franco will follow his recent directorial success, THE DISASTER ARTIST, with an adaptation of the book “Those Guys Have All the Fun” from author James Andrew Miller. The book chronicles the humble beginnings of the network, centering on Bill Rasmussen and his son Scott as they set out to create their own 24-hour cable network. HALT AND CATCH FIRE’s co-creator Christopher C. Rogers is working on a rewrite of the script, originally handled by Miller.

The movie has been in the works for a few years now, and Miller told ESPN’s own Dan Patrick in 2015 that the movie would be like other popular corporation/business biographical films like THE SOCIAL NETWORK or MONEYBALL. No word yet on casting (including if Franco would play a role), but the movie will be an ensemble flick with other figureheads from the network’s early days being depicted.


This news about a new project from Franco has caused conversations to spark once again around allegations of sexual misconduct that were made against him earlier this year. Several women came forward and claimed he acted inappropriately towards them on the set of his movies, with many believing the allegations caused him to lose out on an Oscar nomination for DISASTER ARTIST. Franco has denied the allegations, and even HBO is gearing up for the second season of the Franco-led show THE DEUCE. 

Though the creation of ESPN interests me about as much as ESPN itself, the fact Franco is directing it makes me a bit more curious about what this movie could look like. He doesn't seem like the kind of filmmaker to take the average, biopic approach, and could perhaps do something bit more humorous and stylish. He did an amazing job with THE DISASTER ARTIST, but the material for this new movie is wildly different. That being said, playing Tommy Wiseau did give Franco experience throwing around a football. 

Source: Collider

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