If you can remember all the way back to when Bill Simmons acrimoniously left ESPN and got scooped up by HBO, there was a report at that time that one of his first projects for the premium cable network would be a documentary about André the Giant. Well, Simmons’ own self-hosted HBO show has come and gone, and now over a year after fans received word about the doc, it’s finally an official thing.
(Keep in mind that this is only one of the André film biographies in development at the moment, as there is a biopic in the works based on the graphic novel André The Giant: Closer To Heaven.)
On Monday, a joint press release from the executive vice president of HBO and WWE’s own Kevin Dunn announced that the Bill Simmons Media Group will indeed produce the documentary — entitled André The Giant — and it will be a join production between Simmons, HBO and WWE, and will eventually debut on HBO.
The film will be directed by Jason Hehir, an Emmy Award-winner who was with HBO Sports from 2001-2008 and helped produce the universally acclaimed 24/7 series of sports docs.
There’s no word of an official release or premiere date as of yet, but it’s nice to know that the documentary is really, fully, truly, actually happening.
From the press release:
The ambitious and wide-ranging documentary film will explore Andre’s upbringing in France, his celebrated career in WWE and his forays in the entertainment world.
“For more than 20 years, Andre the Giant’s larger than life personality and unique charisma captured the imagination of fans around the world,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “I will always value our friendship, and am proud to tell the story of the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.”
Bill Simmons, who joined HBO in the summer of 2015 and founded The Ringer, will serve as an executive producer of the film. “Going back to 2007 and 2008 when I was creating and developing ‘30 for 30’ for ESPN, Andre’s story rode the top of every single sports documentary wish list I ever made,” said Simmons. “We always hear about unicorns these days – Andre was the ultimate unicorn. He’s a true legend. Everyone who ever crossed paths with him has an Andre story – and usually four or five. I’m delighted to join forces with Jason Hehir and WWE so we can capture Andre’s amazing story once and for all.”
We’ll keep you updated when there’s news of an actual premiere date, so you can get your DVR, or your HBO Go subscription or whatever all lined up.