News broke earlier this week that ESPN is right in the middle of shooting a 30 for 30 on “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair life both inside, and outside, the squared circle could probably fill countless episodes.
Not to be outdone, the former producer and creator of 30 for 30, Bill Simmons, is also working on a documentary of a wrestling legend for his new employer HBO. According to Richard Johnson at Page Six, Simmons’ first project with the HBO will be a documentary from Jonathan Hock chronicling the life, career and probably drinking prowess of WWE Hall of Famer André the Giant.
There’s a belief that ESPN pulled the trigger on the Flair 30 for 30 just to piss Simmons off.
Flair goes on to say that WWE is “very, very protective of their intellectual property,” and it took almost a year and a half for both WWE and ESPN to get on the same page. The main sticking point was allowing ESPN to use WWE-owned footage, but “all of a sudden it’s come to fruition.”
Flair explains that ESPN was actually interested in producing a documentary special on Andre the Giant, but ultimately went with Flair. This is interesting, given the recent parting of ways with Bill Simmons and subsequent shooting of his beloved ESPN offshoot Grantland into the sun. Now that Simmons is with HBO, one of the first projects revealed was a documentary on the life and times of Andre the Giant.
Very interesting indeed. It doesn’t get much bigger than André and Flair in the wrestling business (not counting Hogan but he’s a little busy shuffling through emails at the moment) and both docs should pull in massive audiences for the networks. André and Ric are both larger than life characters with appeal and name recognition that goes well beyond marks and smarks.
Hopefully this drinking moment involving the two gets mentioned in both docs.
[via Page 6/With Spandex]