Universal Circling A LeBron James Movie


Universal is close to a deal on a movie pitch dramatizing the 2009 documentary More Than A Game – the story of the early days of NBA superstar, LeBron James – with the player and his manager, Maverick Carter, on board as producers.

The documentary was written and directed by Kristopher Belman, with Brad Hogan as co-writer, and was well-received at the time of its release. It centres on LeBron James and four of his teammates – Dru Joyce III, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton and Willie McGee – progressing though Ohio High School basketball, under Coach Dru Joyce II. Tracking those early careers, the film then depicts the eventual rise of James to international stardom.

Hollywood loves a good ‘work-hard-and-succeed’ inspirational tale, and they don’t come more inspirational than LeBron James. Born to a hard-working, teenage, single mother, but supported by leading figures in the local sports scene, he bonded with his teammates and rose through the ranks of high school basketball. From his humble beginnings in Akron, Ohio, James worked to become one of the world’s most accomplished athletes, whose achievements include two NBA Championships, and three Olympic medals.

It is no surprise, then, that Universal has come calling. The pitch comes from independent filmmaker Frank E. Flowers (Haven), and has Dallas Buyers Club producer Rachel Winter and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter on board to co-produce. There is no word yet on who might take the lead role – though for such a high profile project, we can expect competition to be fierce.

This news marks the second upcoming collaboration between the studio and LeBron James as, in addition to this dramatization, Universal are currently developing the comedy film Ballers, which has him attached to star alongside Kevin James. Having so spectacularly conquered the world of basketball, it seems we will soon be enjoying a different kind of performance from the legend that is LeBron James.