One of the most bizarre and interesting events in the history of professional sports is being turned into a movie. Michael Jordan is, quite arguably, the greatest athlete of all time. Few people, if any, have ever been so dominant at a sport, or anything for that matter, as Jordan was at basketball. But at the height of his career with the Chicago Bulls, he quite and decided to play baseball in the minor leagues for a year. Now, Will Smith and his production company are going to chronicle the events in a new movie.
The script for the movie comes from Ben Epstein (Happyland) and is titled The Prospect. The script has been on the Black List for some time and is finally getting some traction, thanks to Will Smith, who is actually friends with Michael Jordan in real life. In case you aren’t familiar, the Black List is a list of the best unproduced screenplays floating around in Hollywood. Reportedly, The Prospect has been on the list for some time and has finally found its way to (hopefully) getting made.
In 1992, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to their third consecutive NBA championship. He was a star all around the world. However, in 1993, following the murder of his father, he decided to retire from basketball. Then, in 1994, he signed with the Chicago White Sox in the hopes of playing professional baseball, but he was playing on their minor league team, the Birmingham Barons. After a rather unamazing year of playing baseball, Jordan signed back up with the Bulls in March of 1995. He then led them to the best regular season record in the history of the NBA and three more consecutive championships.
These events, in some way, albeit a very fictional way, were already chronicled on film. Space Jam, which was released in 1996, did cover Michael Jordan’s year in baseball, but tried to explain it away via an intergalactic basketball game with the Looney Tunes. The movie has remained a fan-favorite over the years, but Jordan’s baseball career was only a fractional part of the movie. This story could lend itself quite well to a bit screen adaptation. Even if you’re not a fan of sports, movies about interesting sports stories can be truly excellent.
As it stands, there’s no timetable for release, but it sounds like the movie is in the early stages. There’s no word on a possible director and, perhaps more importantly, there are currently no names attached in terms of who might play the young Michael Jordan. So far, the only firm detail in place is that Will Smith’s Overlook Entertainment is producing the movie. Empire wasn’t able to give us much more than that at this time, but that’s enough to get plenty of sports fans, and movie fans, on board.