LeBron James is bringing his next feature film project back home to Ohio. He will be producing a movie entitled SHOOTING STARS, based on the four-time NBA champion’s life. Seeing how James regularly refers to himself as “just a kid from Akron, Ohio,” it’s fitting that SHOOTING STARS is expected to film in LeBron’s hometown of Akron, as well as in the Cleveland area. Sources tell SCREEN the feature will begin filming on April 18th and will continue through early June.
The film is an adaptation of the book SHOOTING STARS, written by LeBron and Buzz Bissinger. The book chronicles the story of LeBron James and his best friends, who first met on a youth basketball team when they were ten years old. United by their love of the game and their yearning for companionship, they quickly forged a bond that would carry them through thick and thin and, at last, to the brink of a national championship.
LeBron’s Production Deal with NBC Universal
LeBron and his business partner Maverick Carter are in the midst of a deal with NBCUniversal, aimed at producing film and television projects about sports and culture. The deal gives Universal a first look at entertainment projects from James’ production company, SpringHill, for four years.
LeBron’s production company SpringHill was formed with a $100 million investment, and aims to also tell stories about current cultural events. James and childhood friend Carter said in a recent interview that they are specifically hoping to give overlooked creators — especially people of color — a vehicle to create entertainment.
Meet the Director of SHOOTING STARS
Release date and key cast are all forthcoming, but SCREEN can confirm one critical piece of the puzzle. SHOOTING STARS is expected to be directed by Chris Robinson, who is best known for directing music videos from Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Usher, as well as the Grammy nominated video for “One Mic” by Nas:
Also on the SHOOTING STARS team are producers Rachel and Terence Winter. Rachel was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture for the 2013 film DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, while Terence is the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO television series BOARDWALK EMPIRE. As for the screenplay for SHOOTING STARS, it is being adapted from the aforementioned novel by Frank E. Flowers (his short film SWALLOW premiered at Sundance and won at Austin) with revisions by Tony Rettenmaier and Juel Taylor.
SpringHill has plenty of projects in the pipeline. LeBron and Carter have executive produced several high-profile endeavors, namely the family film SPACE JAM 2, which starred LeBron, and NBC’s primetime game show THE WALL. The team also created the docuseries I PROMISE. Projects on the horizon include NEW KID, based on the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal by Jerry Craft, and CATCH THE WAVE, based on an original pitch by Ali Kinney.
Check back here at SCREEN for updates as this feature film forges ahead into production. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.