Like former NBA league MVP's, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dr. J, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal before him, LeBron James is heading to the big screen to star in a big Hollywood movie. And like MJ in particular, he's not stretching himself by playing anyone other than...LeBron James.
According to Variety, King James will star in "Fantasy Basketball Camp" for Universal Pictures and producer Brian Grazer. The comedy will center on five guys from different backgrounds who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp. The five fans end up dragging James into their own life issues some which are pretty real and others that are pretty ridiculous (think "Dodgeball" meets "The Hangover").
No director or cast are attached yet, but screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel are on board. The duo have sports movie experience having written "Fever Pitch" and "A League of their Own." Oscar-winner Grazer has also gone down this road before having convinced Eminem to star in his one and only film, the blockbuster "8 Mile" and producing sports-themed projects such as "Friday Night Lights" and the classic TV series "Sports Night."
Moviegoers can see James in theaters this October in the documentary "More Than A Game" which chronicles the journey of his stellar high school championship basketball team.
Ironically, James may take some advice from his new Cleveland Cavilers teammate Shaquille O'Neal, who tried to make it in Hollywood with "Blue Chips," "Steel" and "Kazaam" with little success (the films obviously got progressively worse.) The reigning NBA MVP is no doubt hoping instead to follow in MJ's footsteps with a massive hit like "Space Jam."
Universal and Grazer hope to begin production on "Camp" during the 2010 NBA offseason. Basketball fans should take note of this news as it would probably means James won't participate with Team USA for the 2010 FIBA World Championships Aug. 28 - Sept. 12. No doubt, coach Mike Kryzewski will be lobbying hard for James to shoot the film in 2011 instead.