×

Spike Lee sets Michael Jordan film

Director aims to bring doc to Cannes in '09

CANNES — Spike Lee is set to shoot a feature-length documentary about Michael Jordan. Helmer told a Cannes crowd that he hopes to bring the basketball legend to the fest with the pic next year.

The NBA is financing the docu, with Lee’s 40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks shingle producing.

Lee was on the Croisette to tubthump his $43 million Italy-set WWII drama “Miracle at St. Anna,” an eight-minute promo of which unspooled for press and buyers Monday.

Based on the eponymous book by bestselling U.S. author James McBride, “Miracle” will be completed in late July, with Touchstone Pictures releasing the pic Stateside on Oct. 10, following a likely launch in Toronto, Venice or both.

True tale concerns four members of the U.S. Army’s 92nd Division consisting of black soldiers, who in 1944 were trapped in a Tuscan village and had to contend with both racist commanders and the Nazis.

It’s about “black men who at the time when they were still considered second-class citizens in America were fighting the Fascists in Italy and becoming liberators of Italians,” Lee told Daily Variety.

“Miracle” is an entirely European pic, produced by Italy’s Roberto Cicutto and Lugi Musini, via their new On My Own shingle, with Gaul’s TF1 handling sales and 01 Distribuzione releasing in Italy.

Lee called the pic’s production structure a “miracle” that materialized last year after he was unable to find the “right” money in Hollywood for his planned James Brown biopic and a film about the L.A. riots.

Jordan docu will include extensive unseen footage shot by NBA cameras during the final two years in Jordan’s career, the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. Lee and Jordan previously collaborated on a series of Nike TV commercials.

“Mike wants to come to Cannes, so hopefully we will be here next year,” Lee said.

More Film

  • Whoopi Goldberg addresses the crowd while

    Inside World Pride's Opening Ceremony: An LGBTQ Celebration With a Tinge of Politics

    World Pride officially kicked off on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. About 8,000 people packed into the arena for a three-hour show that began with Cyndi Lauper singing her hit “True Colors.” The performance ended with a gaggle of dancing drag queens who pranced alongside Lauper as she turned the train of [...]

  • Amy Adams (left) as Lynne Cheney

    Film News Roundup: Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Sets Awards Show for Jan. 11

    In today’s film news roundup, the 2020 awards season schedule gets finalized; AFM will cover immersive content; “Murderous Trance” and “7 Days to Vegas” get acquired; and Kate Katzman has been added to “The Comeback Trail.” AWARDS DATE The Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild has set Jan. 11 as the date for its seventh [...]

  • Disney Pandora World Of Avatar, Lake

    The Piano Guys Play 'Avatar' Theme in Disney World (Watch)

    The YouTube sensation The Piano Guys have taken a trip to the world of Pandora for a performance of the theme to “Avatar.” Shot in the bioluminescent floating forest in Disney World, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and pianist Jon Schmidt put their spin on the score to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster. The video immerses the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Billy Drago, 'Untouchables' Star, Dies at 73

    Billy Drago, who often played harming but chilling gangster roles and appeared in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” and Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73. The character actor played Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti in 1987’s “The Untouchables.” On TV series “Charmed,” he put [...]

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content