Sporror

As the success of movies like Jordan Peele’s Get Out proves, the horror genre is still as vital as ever in 2017. The same can’t be said, however, of sports movies these days. While the ’90s was a golden age of relatively small scale movies about the struggles and successes of sports teams, the evolution of Hollywood’s business model (in which big budget movies increasingly rely on international audiences to turn a profit) has made it far more difficult to green light movies with a sports angle.

The clear solution: combine the two types of storytelling into a new genre called “sporror” that consists of scary movies set in the world of sports that star celebrity athletes. Naturally. I can’t believe something so blatantly obvious took this long to put into motion. It’s been right in front of our eyes the whole time!

ComingSoon brings word that a global studio called Gunpowder & Sky has joined forces with Mandalay Sports Media (who produced the upcoming boxer biopic Chuck) to launch this new genre, and their first venture will be a film called Lucky Number.

Lucky Number, to be written by Aaron Cooley (Shaken Not Stirred, The Campaigners), is the first in a new series of horror films set in and starring celebrities from the world of sports. The story centers around a pro basketball superstar who must pay up on a deal he made with the devil, transforming into the most athletic — and frightening — killer in cinematic history.

Oh, sure. The most frightening killer in cinematic history. No big deal. It’s good to see that they’re setting reasonable goals for themselves already.

This whole thing sounds like a colossally stupid idea. I mean, have you seen Space Jam? There’s a reason that professional athletes generally stick to starring in commercials. (It’s because they’re typically not very good actors, but shhh…don’t tell these companies that.) Granted, we’re probably giving them more publicity here by even talking about this at all than they’ll ever get again, even if they make a slasher movie one day starring, I don’t know, John Stockton and Karl Malone. Those guys are still playing, right? (Can you tell I don’t follow basketball?)

To put it mildly, it seems unlikely that sporror is going to become the next big thing. I wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see some trailers for horror movies starring famous athletes, and if they follow the Blumhouse model and keep the budgets comparatively low, maybe they’ll even be able to keep this crazy thing churning for years on end. But I think the mentality of the people in charge of this thing speaks for itself, and I’ll leave you with a I-can’t-believe-this-is-real glimpse into that mentality with a quote from Jon Weinbach, one of the executive producers at MSM:

“There are few places more frightening than a dark, empty arena, and the sports landscape is full of strange and authentically frightening characters. We’ve never seen a mash-up between horror and sports, where everything from a hockey skate to a nacho cheese vat can be dangerous – or even deadly.”

Yeah. Good luck with that.

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