rocky documentary digital release

40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic is squaring up for a digital release. The making-of documentary, which features narration from Sylvester Stallone himself, is set to be released on digital on-demand this June.

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Be Water trailer

In the wake of the fantastic Michael Jordan-centric documentary series The Last Dance, which broke viewership records for ESPN, the sports network is hoping that its slate of 30 for 30 documentaries is able to keep audiences’ attention. They’re currently airing Lance, a multi-part look at the life and controversy of cyclist Lance Armstrong, but coming up next month, they’ll tackle a subject that seems likely to attract the attention of folks outside of sports fandom: martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Check out the trailer for Be Water below. Read More »

hustle movie

The Sandman isn’t done making basketball-adjacent movies just yet. After taking it to the hole with Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler is set to star in Hustle, a new Netflix movie produced by LeBron James. The film will see Sandler starring as a fired b-ball scout who discovers a talented player overseas and decides to bring him to the United States.

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nfl fake crowd sounds

An NFL player scores a touchdown and the crowd goes wild! So to speak. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutting down almost all professional sports leagues for the past few months, networks dedicated to covering sports have been in a dilemma. How do they responsibly cover sports if the leagues do end up restarting? With some fake crowd noises and virtual images of fans, at least over at Fox Sports.

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ESPN Films - ESPN Documentaries

Faced with an ongoing lack of sports, ESPN has still found ratings success with The Last Dance, a 10-part series chronicling the final championship run of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Since sports aren’t slated to return anytime soon, ESPN is bumping up a few more documentaries from their ongoing 30 for 30 series that were originally scheduled to premiere later this year.

After The Last Dance comes to an end in the middle of May, the following Sundays will see new documentary premieres focusing on scandalous cyclist Lance Armstrong, martial arts legend Bruce Lee, and the famous home run battle between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. Get details on the new ESPN documentaries coming in May and June below. Read More »

Space Jam: A New Legacy

A sequel to the 1996 basketball movie Space Jam has been in the works for years, and superstar LeBron James has been chosen to step into the lead (human) role and replace original star Michael Jordan. But the sequel won’t just be referred to as the generic Space Jam 2: instead, it’ll be called Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is one of the most uninspired movie titles in recent memory. Read More »

The Last Dance interview

For Emmy Award-winning director Jason Hehir (Andre the Giant, 30 for 30), completing the ten-part documentary series The Last Dance has been a Herculean task – and he’s still not finished. He likely won’t be totally done with the project until hours before the final episodes air. Talk about pressure.

But like Michael Jordan, the primary subject of the documentary, Hehir seems to thrive when the game is on the line. His series, which chronicles Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during the 1997-1998 season as they try to win their sixth NBA championship, was scheduled for a summer release before being moved up to fill the world’s sports-sized hole during the coronavirus pandemic. The show has already broken viewership records for ESPN, generated a mountain of memes, and seems to be one of the few pieces of pop culture that the country is consuming at the same time in an era when that kind of water cooler entertainment is increasingly rare.

I spoke with Hehir by phone earlier this week, after the premiere of the third and fourth episodes, and Hehir told me about how he decided to shape the show’s timeline, his top three Michael Jordan moments, how he and his team had a staggering 10,000 hours of footage to whittle down, and much more.
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8-year-old chess champion

It’s an unwritten rule in Hollywood: every few years, a major studio must – must! – make a movie about a chess prodigy. I’m not sure why: maybe the film industry has been in the pocket of Big Chess for decades. But Bleeker Street made Pawn Sacrifice in 2014, Disney made Queen of Katwe in 2016, and now Paramount Pictures is the next studio to abide by the rule, because they’re currently developing an untitled movie about an 8-year-old chess champion that’s going to be produced by The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. Get the details below.
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Backyard wrestling show

There’s an entire generation that might only know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a movie star, but the former professional wrestler seems to be going out of his way to be involved in wrestling-adjacent projects these days. He produced and appeared in last year’s Fighting With My Family, he has a show about his early wrestling days called Young Rock in development at NBC, and now he’s teaming up with Insecure star Issa Rae to executive produce a backyard wrestling show for HBO. Read More »

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The Last Dance Clips

This weekend brings the debut of the ESPN documentary series The Last Dance, chronicling NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the rest of the multi-championship-winning players of the 1990s Chicago Bulls as they head into their 1997-1998 season when they would win their final championship together.

Before the series premiere, ESPN has released a couple The Last Dance clips that recall what made the Chicago Bulls so great as they went into this season. For a time, it was unclear whether the team would even be back in full due to contract negotiations that still needed to take place. But once everything was settled, the game was on to make history yet again. Read More »