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Spike Lee Brings Michael Jordan Out of Retirement

by
May 22, 2008
Source: Variety

Michael Jordan

The basketball icon, Michael Jordan, is finally getting some motion-picture love worthy of his historical career by none other than long-time pal and filmmaker Spike Lee. There isn't much more depth to the news, save for the fact that the NBA is apparently financing the film, but I'm struggling to imagine what this project might look like. Lee is certainly no stranger to controversy - his latest HBO documentary, When the Levees Broke was just genius - and he certainly has a knack for compelling drama (Inside Man). I'm no basketball historian, but a Jordan documentary doesn't exactly fall into either category. Plus, with the NBA involved as is planned, you can probably bet this project to be a far more conservative "Spike Lee Joint." Maybe he's just giving Jordan a solid?

This news first came out at the Cannes Film Festival, where Lee is promoting his war-time film Miracle at St. Anna. Perhaps not in the same breath, the pointy one let loose some criticism of fellow directors Clint Eastwood and the Coen Brothers. Specifically, Lee cited the Coen's lack of respect for life in their movies, and Eastwood's lack of African Americans in his WWII-era films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. The minutia of his remarks isn't exactly unique or that interesting; it's what you'd expect and what most people enjoy about the guy.

So will any of that trademark flavor manifest itself in this Jordan documentary? I don't know enough of Jordan's life to say, but it seems unlikely.

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  • Who thinks Spike will cover Jordan's daily marital infidelities?
  • Zak
    Why should he? Is that even one of the 10 most interesting things about Michael Jordan? I thought the great fault of Michael Mann's 'Ali' was that it spent a third of it's time concerned with Ali's wives and girlfriends and all but ignored his rivalry with Joe Frazier, which defined who he was as a man.
  • The Delightful Deviant
    i wonder how many times the N word is going to be used in this "joint".
  • Nunya
    @Zak - Ali's rivalry with Joe Frazier defined who he was as a public persona and a fighter. It's mostly Ali's personal life, including his wives and girlfriends, which defined who he was as a man.
  • mmm hope its gud. Michael is my favorite athlete ever.
  • Pickle
    A Michael Jordan joint from Spike Lee. Why am I not surprised?
  • Pickle
    A main reason why I'm not a Spike Lee fan: http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2008-05-22/ It's the 4th story down! I really hate it when he does this!!!
  • Zak
    Nunya, I don't think you can separate the two - man an d The Ali/Frazier rivalry showed not only how entertaining and engrossing he could be, but also how brutally mean he could be. It showed a lot about his relationship with the Nation of Islam. They were the fights that really showed what a talent he was, how strong he was, how driven he could be. The rivalry defined SO much about what he was/is as a man. Especially when these movies are viewed as entertainment value, if you are going to distill Ali into a two-hour film or Jordan into a however-long documentary, is that what you really want to see? When you watched Jordan become the greatest player in the game, revolutionize sports marketing, become one of the world's most recognizable human beings, did you find yourself stopping to think about what might be going on with his wife? Even when you consider all the controversies - the fights, the conspiracy theories surrounding his stint in baseball, etc. - are his indiscretions all that compelling? I already had to see the most socially relevant personal sports rivalry of the century glossed over in favor of lousy dating melodrama, I don't want Spike to drone on about the girlfriends when he could be covering the Dream Team Scrimmage.
  • Dan
    Spike is such a whiner when he sees a movie with no black actors involved.
  • mk
    Dan and Pickle: What's the matter -- the truth hurt?

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