Ahead of HBO’s Andre the Giant doc, executive producer Bill Simmons talks about the challenges of bringing the life story of André René Roussimoff to the screen:
“When I started 30 For 30 with Connor [Schell], we made a list of 12 can’t-miss docs and Andre was on that list,” Simmons tells Ryan Parker of his former ESPN series. “We ended up making half the list and there were others we couldn’t make for a variety of reasons — Andre’s being one of them — because the WWE didn’t do anything with other entities then.”
“In 2015, we [at HBO] tried to convince Vince McMahon to do it. The WWE had their network and created a lot of content, but they also saw the big picture and they saw the value that this is with HBO. And then it unfolded and worked out.” Full story.
What else we’re reading…
— “How network TV can survive the streaming age.” Josef Adalian writes: “the successes of recent weeks show that networks need to aim for the watercooler with event programming. Not to be confused with buzzy shows.” [New York]
— “Cuba Gooding Jr: ‘I had 10 years in the wilderness.'” Steve Rose’s profile: “Life was all private jets and limos after his Oscar win. Then came a decade of bad roles and flop films.” [The Guardian]
— “The struggle never ends for Paper Boi.” Miles Surrey writes: “The more success the rapper at the heart of Atlanta finds, the more obstacles arise – and Brian Tyree Henry is playing the show’s Sisyphus masterfully.” [The Ringer]
— “Kate Mara takes on another political death.” The actress “talks about playing Mary Jo Kopechne in the political drama Chappaquiddick, Kevin Spacey and her new series by Ryan Murphy.” [New York Times]
— “Jesus wears Balmain jeans.” Booth Moore “goes behind-the-scenes with the costume designer of Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert, starring John Legend, Alice Cooper and Sara Bareilles.” [Pret-a-Reporter]
— “Listening to M.I.A., finally.” Spencer Kornhaber writes: “The excellent documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. clarifies what the controversial pop star was fighting for all along.” [The Atlantic]
— “South Asian actors are taking over TV.” Sulagna Misra notes: “This pilot season, there’s a major boom in South Asian representation.” [Vanity Fair]
35 years ago today…
+ Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life hits theaters. Original review: “Unbelievably crass. And extremely funny.” [THR Archives]
Today’s birthdays: Kate Micucci, 38, Ewan McGregor, 47, Tony Cox, 60, Rhea Perlman, 70, Christopher Walken, 75, William Daniels, 91.