Move over, LeBron — retired basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal is also venturing into the filmed animation space.
O’Neal will make his debut as a co-screenwriter and producer on the short “Headnoise,” mounted through his company Jersey Legends Productions.
The film examines the internal and external pressure to succeed, as told through childhood friends Rashaun and Damon, two talented basketball players from the same inner-city neighborhood. Both are NBA hopefuls, but Rashaun is the more coveted pick among college recruitment scouts. Secretly, however, Rashaun’s passion is sculpting — and while his journey to follow his dream is plagued with systemic disadvantages, he is determined to be undefeated by his internal head noise.
Cedric Williams, Jr. and Joshua David King will voice the roles of Rashaun and Damon, respectively. The film will feature original songs from music producer and rapper Tone, and composer Matthew Wang.
“I’m so proud of ‘HeadNoise,'” O’Neal said. “It is my first time writing and producing my own project. I wanted to call attention to what so many people encounter, especially young adults, who deal with anxiety and stress. It was such an honor to create this piece with such a diverse team of people. Everyone should see it.”
The project is currently in the final stages of production and is planning a 2022 festival rollout.