New Line’s basket case

Ferrell to star in 'Semi-Pro'

New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing.

New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year of the American Basketball Assn.

Woody Harrelson, who broke out as a basketballer in 1992’s “White Men Can’t Jump,” is aboard to co-star.

Scot Armstrong (“Old School”) is penning the screenplay about a former benchwarmer from the NBA who returns to his ragtag team for a shot at redemption. “Semi-Pro” has been put on the fast track, with shooting expected to start early next year.

Armstrong first pitched the project to New Line four years ago, and Ferrell expressed interest in the project this summer while promoting “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” Top execs at the mini-major greenlit “Semi-Pro” at their retreat earlier this week.

Alterman first bonded with Ferrell during the shoot for New Line’s “Elf,” which became the thesp’s breakthrough hit. After he directs the pic, Alterman will enter into a first-look deal with New Line.

“I’ve never met Will, but I’ve heard he’s pretty funny,” Alterman told Daily Variety.

Ferrell’s signed on with “Talladega” co-star John C. Reilly for “Step Brothers,” a comedy Adam McKay will direct from a script he’ll write with Ferrell; Miller’s producing with Judd Apatow. Ferrell will next be seen in the Marc Forster-directed “Stranger Than Fiction,” followed by figure skating comedy “Blades of Glory” with Jon Heder and Will Arnett.

Ferrell and Harrelson are repped by CAA.

More Film

  • Rebel Wilson and Taye Diggs

    Concert Review: 'Beauty and the Beast' Gets Adoring Tribute at Hollywood Bowl

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

  • Solo a Star Wars Story Deadpool

    It's Official: Deadpool Is Now Cooler Than Han Solo

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

  • solo a star wars story

    Box Office: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Headed for Underwhelming Holiday Weekend Debut

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

  • solo a star wars story

    How the Kasdans Settled the Biggest Debate in 'Star Wars' History With 'Solo'

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

  • Morgan Freeman Sexual Harassment

    Morgan Freeman Issues New Statement: 'I Did Not Assault Women'

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

  • Euphoria Review

    Cannes Film Review: 'Euphoria'

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

  • David Permut

    David Permut, Naomi Kawase Join Shanghai Festival Jury

    New Line’s turning “Semi-Pro,” greenlighting the Will Ferrell comedy set in the world of 1970s pro basketball. Jimmy Miller is producing. New Line exec VP Kent Alterman will make his directorial debut on the project, in which Ferrell will portray Jackie Moon, the flamboyant owner-player-coach of the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics in the final year […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content