Everyone knows Hollywood has run out of ideas. The industry thrives on sequels and remakes, recycling anything that will make money. Amidst that clutter, one of the more credible routes for script writing is the biopic.
As movies like A Beautiful Mind, Catch Me If You Can, Ray, Walk the Line and The Theory of Everything all prove, when the right story about a great person is presented, captivating films are in the cards. Possibly, even the envelope. With a clear route to success and movies regularly being made about generational icons, there’s one person I’m shocked we’ve never heard brought up in talks for a potential biopic.
In case you didn’t read the headline, that person is Michael Jordan.
The concept seems so obvious, right? Air Jordan is a god. We place him on a pedestal among mortals and stand in line overnight to pay astronomical prices for products with his legendary logo. Grown men have tattoos of him etched permanently into their bodies. Kids think of him as a myth.
The demand is obviously there. Yet, amid years of murmurs over Michael Jackson and Tupac biopics — TV movies aside, it feels like we’ve never really heard His Airness get the same consideration for a big studio motion picture. Why is that?
The quick and easy answer is Jordan’s story isn’t over. Unlike most notable biopic leads, he’s still fully emerged in society as owner/GM of the surprising Hornets and CEO of Jordan Brand. Yet, focus on a specific context like Moneyball or Social Network – in Jordan’s case, maybe focus his final defeat of the Bad Boys or the hoopla surrounding his return from retirement – and the full story doesn’t have to be told. The harder answer is, as he’s still a relatively young businessman, he may not be ready to tell a full story that would have his flaws, as well as his triumphs.
Maybe the answer really lies in the man himself. Despite being such an engaging public figure, the Brooklyn-born baller has always been pretty closed off, both during and after his career. Maybe plenty of scripts do come his way and he just shuts them down, waiting patiently for the perfect one at just the right time. That wouldn’t be a shocker, really.
Whatever the answer, we’re officially putting the idea for a formal, well-done Michael Jordan biopic into the ether. Let’s get this ball rolling. The greatest athlete of all time deserves something better than Michael Jordan: An American Hero from 1999, starring Ernie Hudson and Robin Givens, for Fox’s Family Channel.