Proposed ESPN movie should focus on wacky origins, chaotic early years of network

Jeff Sneider and Lucas Shaw of TheWrap have the latest:

Always on the lookout for smart projects in turnaround, Focus Features has acquired screen rights to “ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun” and attached Derek Cianfrance to direct the film, TheWrap has learned.

Book is an oral history that chronicles the formation of the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

20th Century Fox acquired the book by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales back in July 2011. Several months ago, Fox put the movie into turnaround, though Focus has come to the rescue, recognizing the project’s potential.

The move reunites Focus with “Fifty Shades of Grey” producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, who will produce with Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell.The quartet are currently searching for a writer to adapt the book.

Co-author Miller will executive produce, and Alissa Phillips is working on the film for DeLuca’s company.

That’s terrific news. However, it would be a mistake to cover 34 years in a two-hour movie.  If I am Miller and the producers, the film should focus on ESPN’s founding and the chaos of the early years. The most interesting part of Miller’s book was how the network came together. Given all the wacky characters and the long odds, it is amazing that ESPN saw a second day, let alone a first. That section would make the best movie.

Question: Who plays a young Chris Berman? Why do I keep thinking Seth Rogen?



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