One of the most iconic sports brands in the world is ESPN. The network is known for its 24-hour coverage sports around the world. The brand continued to expand in recent years. They launched the “30 for 30” documentary series under the stewardship of Bill Simmons. It also invested in boutique sites, like “FiveThirtyEight” and “The Undefeated.” Yet despite this cultural cache, ESPN ran into trouble. With cord cutters killing ESPN’s subscriptions, questions have risen about the sports behemoth. As the company struggles, it might be the perfect time to tell the story of its origins. The question now is whether James Franco is the one to do it.
According to Collider, Franco is now in talks to direct a film based on Andrew Miller‘s book “Those Guys Have All the Fun” about ESPN. Miller’s expanded his story of ESPN with the Podcast “Origins,” which provided a pseudo-update to the book. Miller specializes in getting those in a company to open up to him. Over 500 individuals spoke to him about ESPN as he wrote the book. Now, it is considered the definitive work on the company.
Franco took a crazy story and bring it to life with “The Disaster Artist” last year. In theory, he could get many of his friends to join the project, giving it a breath of life and a large ensemble. If this news broke in December, this would have been the ideal way to tell a “Moneyball” or “Social Network” style story about sports network. However, the allegations of sexual misconduct may harm this project. Franco stayed out of the spotlight after the allegations broke. Yet the questions about whether or not he should come back continue to linger. Time will tell, and we’ll keep you updated as the story develops.