Lionsgate and LeBron James Make Us Witnesses to Documentary

He’s been called The Chosen One, King James and the best baller since Michael Jordan. Now LeBron James wants to have a Space Jam of his own on the big screen.

Lionsgate announced that it has gained distribution rights to the documentary, More Than a Game. According to Comingsoon.net, the story follows five young basketball players from Akron, Ohio as they come of age and learn about friendship and loyalty while weathering adversity. The film spans nine years as an inexperienced father coaches the “Fab Five” (their words, not mine. The only real “Fab Five” came from the Michigan Wolverines basketball team in the early 90s) as they make their way out of a decrepit inner-city gym and onto the horizon of a national high school championship. But they are repeatedly tested as James’ rising star and celebrity threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for. More Than a Game will mix a series of one-on-one interviews with rare news footage, home videos and family accounts that bring the story to life.

The film is expected to release in 2009. It premiered in 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival and was followed by a five minute standing ovation from the audience. Lionsgate is hoping this film will surpass the success of the documentary Hoop Dreams, a remarkable basketball story in its own right.

LeBron James, arguably the most popular NBA player currently, has stated that he hopes to become a global icon. While I am not sure he will ever gain the larger-than-life status that “His Airness” Michael Jordan did, getting involved in the film industry is a logical step in making him a household name.

Do you think More Than a Game will be a slam dunk? Who is your favorite athlete that appeared in a film?