Sports comedy 'Ballers' won't shoot this summer as planned
Exclusive: LeBron James will have to wait at least another year to make his Hollywood debut.The Miami Heat forward has been attached to star in Universal/Imagine’s sports comedy “Ballers” since September 2009, and after an initial yearlong delay to accommodate his summer 2010 free agency, production was pushed to next month. However, exec producer Michael Rosenberg told Variety that because the script is still being developed, “we are not shooting this summer.” Story follows five guys who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp in Las Vegas, but end up dragging the phenom into their myriad life issues. Malcolm D. Lee (“Undercover Brother”) remains attached to direct and is working on a new draft of the screenplay originally written by Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz and re-written by Peter Steinfeld. Imagine’s Brian Grazer is producing, while Rosenberg and Kim Roth are exec producing alongside James and his business partner Maverick Carter. Production co-prexy Peter Cramer is overseeing for U. Grazer previously told Variety that James impressed him in commercials and his 2007 hosting turn on “Saturday Night Live,” and producers had been looking to surround James with an A-list comedic cast to ensure his feature debut would be successful. In April 2010, Universal announced that “Ballers” would hit theaters on Nov. 4, 2011, meaning it would go into production that summer. That never happened, as James spent the summer weighing suitors on the free-agent market. But one thing is for sure, “Ballers” getting off the ground is no slam-dunk. CAA reps James, Lee, Steinfeld, Ganz and Mandel.
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