The film will explore the wrestler’s upbringing in France as André René Roussimoff, his wrestling career, and his forays into Hollywood. Diagnosed in his 20s with acromegaly — gigantism — Roussimoff became one of the most celebrated professional wrestlers of his era and starred in the 1987 Rob Reiner movie “The Princess Bride.”
“For more than 20 years, Andre the Giant’s larger than life personality and unique charisma captured the imagination of fans around the world,” said WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “I will always value our friendship, and am proud to tell the story of the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.”
Titled “Andre the Giant,” the documentary is also Simmons’ first project at HBO since his talk show “Any Given Wednesday” was canceled in November. Simmons signed a deal in 2015 to host the talk show and produce projects for HBO after parting ways with his previous television home, ESPN.
Jason Hehir, who worked with Simmons on his “30 for 30” documentary series for ESPN, will direct the film.
“Going back to 2007 and 2008 when I was creating and developing ‘30 for 30’ for ESPN, Andre’s story rode the top of every single sports documentary wish list I ever made,” said Simmons. “We always hear about unicorns these days – Andre was the ultimate unicorn. He’s a true legend. Everyone who ever crossed paths with him has an Andre story – and usually four or five. I’m delighted to join forces with Jason Hehir and WWE so we can capture Andre’s amazing story once and for all.”