20th Century Fox Acquires ESPN: THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN

     July 25, 2011


20th Century Fox is grabbing the rights to James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ book ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun, which chronicles the creation of the sports network empire. The book is told using stories told directly by past and present ESPN broadcasters, producers, and personalities. Deadline reports that there is significant interest in the project from directors and screenwriters all over town, as it’s ripe with dramatic content similar to The Social Network.

I’ve yet to read the book, but I’ve heard it’s significantly dense. A good adaptation (paging Aaron Sorkin) pulling from the best stories could result in a fantastically entertaining movie that’s sure to draw a huge interest from the sports-minded American public. Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Julie Yorn are producing. Hit the jump for a description of the book.

espn_those_guys_hvae_all_the_fun_book_coverHere’s the synopsis for ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun:

ESPN began as an outrageous gamble with a lineup that included Australian Rules Football, rodeo, and a rinky-dinky clip show called Sports Center. Today the empire stretches far beyond television into radio, magazines, mobile phones,the internet, video games and more, while ESPN’s personalities have become global superstars to rival the sports icons they cover. Chris Berman, Robin Roberts, Keith Olbermann, Hannah Storm, Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Stuart Scott, Erin Andrews, Mike Ditka, Bob Knight, and scores of others speak openly about the games, shows, scandals, gambling addictions, bitter rivalries, and sudden suspensions that make up the network’s soaring and stormy history. The result is a wild, smart, effervescent story of triumph, genius, ego, and the rise of an empire unlike any television had ever seen. [Amazon]

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  • Sullivangelist

    The book is excellent, but it spans nearly four decades. It has a lot in common with “The Social Network,” in that it chronicles the construction of a cultural monolith that remains relevant by becoming the zeitgeist instead of catering to it.

    Theirs was a slow crawl, though, unlike “The Social Network,” which takes place over the course of a few years…..

  • Sean

    Good lord. If anything has Aaron Sorkin written all over it, it’s this. All you’d have to mention is the fact that he’s a fantastically talented writer who has done some of the best scripts of the last 25 years (A Few Good Men, the first 4 seasons of The West Wing, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network). But in addition to that, he created and wrote the entirety of the critically praised but short-lived “Sports Night” AND the script for the upcoming buzz-building “Moneyball”. Not to mention the fact that he got the idea for Sports Night from watching ESPN during late night writing sessions. Give this to him now. And don’t make it a singular movie – make it a mini series on HBO. That’ll give the material the room it needs to breathe.

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