Derek Cianfrance Attached to 'ESPN: Those Guys Have All The Fun'
The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network - one of the most popular channels today. A book was published in 2011 titled Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, telling the history (through interviews) of the cable channel that started in 1979, and it was initially picked up by 20th Century Fox for an adaptation. That studio has since decided to pass on the film, letting the rights lapse and end up in the hands of Focus Features. The Wrap reports that Focus has picked up the project in "turnaround", with Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines) attached to direct. If you've seen his TV commercials for Dick's Sporting Goods (watch here), Cianfrance has a knack for sports and will be perfect.
Here's the enticing synopsis of James Andrew Miller & Tom Shales' book this is based on, via Amazon.com:
It began, in 1979, as a mad idea of starting a cable channel to televise local sporting events throughout the state of Connecticut. Today, ESPN is arguably the most successful network in modern television history, spanning eight channels in the Unites States and around the world. But the inside story of its rise has never been fully told-until now.
Drawing upon over 500 interviews with the greatest names in ESPN's history and an All-Star collection of some of the world's finest athletes, bestselling authors James Miller and Tom Shales take us behind the cameras. Now, in their own words, the men and women who made ESPN great reveal the secrets behind its success-as well as the many scandals, rivalries, off-screen battles and triumphs that have accompanied that ascent. From the unknown producers and business visionaries to the most famous faces on television, it's all here.
My very early prediction: this film is going to open huge, whenever it opens many years from now. ESPN is one of those places that has an adamant and massive following thanks to their top-notch, round-the-clock sports coverage. I don't even watch the network that much, and I really want to hear this story. There's just something about them. The ESPN: Those Guys Have All The Fun movie is being produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti (The Social Network, Captain Phillips), with Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell. The news says they're still searching for a writer to adapt the book, even though Cianfrance is (tentatively) attached to direct and usually writes his own scripts. Let's hope they're not putting this on the backburner.
As a big fan of Derek Cianfrance and his filmmaking, I'm usually very confident in the choices of projects he gets involved in. However, I think he is especially suited for this based on his sports commercials for the most part. Cianfrance is currently preparing an adaptation of The Light Between Oceans for DreamWorks, and could follow that up with this next. But only time will tell. We'll keep an eye out for additional updates.