A few years ago, ESPN expert Jim Miller announced that he would be penning a screenplay for a film based on his book about the company, Those Guys Have All The Fun. Now, a Hollywood star is connected to the script.
Actor/director James Franco is "in talks" to direct the movie. Christopher C. Rodgers, who co-created the critically acclaimed AMC drama Halt and Catch Fire is doing a rewrite of Miller's screenplay.
Collider has more on how the ESPN origin story is expected to translate to the silver screen:
Collider has also learned that Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher C. Rogers has been tapped to rewrite the script, which will follow Bill Rasmussen, a communications executive who teamed up with his son, Scott, to launch the world’s first 24-hour cable TV network. But first, the Rasmussens had to max out their credit cards to scrape together enough cash to reserve a satellite transponder so they could show sporting events nonstop throughout the day.
In addition to Rasmussen and his family, key characters will include Stu Evey, the former Getty Oil executive who became the founding chairman of ESPN; NBC Sports president Chet Simmons, who left NBC to become the president of ESPN; RCA salesman Al Parinello; Anheuser-Busch exec Claude Bishop; and Scotty Connal, an early VP of production at ESPN.
James Franco is a very interesting, and arguably inappropriate, name to connect to the ESPN movie, on a number of levels.
On one hand, Franco's recent work makes him a natural fit. He recently starred in and directed The Disaster Artist, an adaptation about Greg Sestero's novel about the making of famously horrible cult classic The Room.
The 2017 film was nominated at the Academy Awards for "Best Adapted Screenplay." Franco won a few "Best Actor" awards for his portrayal as mysterious star and director of The Room Tommy Wiseau, including the Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
However, in January, Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by five women. He has laid low since, although it was recently announced that he would do work with Netflix, and will be in the second season of HBO's The Deuce.
Miller's book These Guys Have All The Fun documented fairly rampant sexual harassment that has occurred throughout ESPN's history. Leaving that out would tell an incomplete version of the ESPN story, and having Franco helm a movie that heavily features ESPN's sexual harassment issues comes off as extremely tone deaf.