Comedian and actor Kevin Hart has been buddy-buddy with LeBron James for a few years now, at least since they goofed around together at the South Florida All-Star charity game in 2011, but now they’re ready to take their friendship to the next level. According to ESPN, Hart is writing the screenplay for Ballers, the story of two brothers, one of which is an NBA star and the other is short and not an NBA star. I bet you can’t guess which one is which.
More accurately, Deadline reports, Hart is writing with Joey Wells, Chris Spencer and Harry Ratchford, with Brian Grazer and Michael Rosenberg producing, but the key to the story here is that James is ready to become a movie star, as he and Grazer have been trying to get this sucker made since 2009.
The movie idea first got off the ground in 2008, when James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. By 2009, well-known producer Brian Grazer and his production company, Imagine Entertainment, were attached, and a script called “Fantasy Basketball Camp” was written.
Eventually, Universal Pictures signed on, and all parties and James picked director Malcolm Lee, who directed the current hit “The Best Man Holiday.” They were chasing actors like Craig Robinson to star next to James in the movie that had been rebranded “Ballers.”
That movie was scheduled to shoot in the summer of 2010 in Las Vegas but was ultimately put on hold. Although it was widely assumed the studio pulled the plug in the wake of the negative publicity that followed James after his “Decision” broadcast, the movie was actually scrapped before James announced he was signing with the Heat. It has been in various stages of development ever since, with James and his business partner, Maverick Carter, as executive producers. (Via ESPN)
Deadline and multiple other outlets were quick to point out that because James is 6-foot-8 and Hart is 2-foot-zero, this is basically a new version of Twins. Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t. But if it doesn’t have young Kelly Preston climbing into bed in slow motion, then I don’t want to hear any more comparisons.