Would you watch a 10-hour, authorized, full-access Michael Jordan documentary? Stupid question, of course you would. We all would.
Which leads to the next question: How much would a network — ESPN, HBO, Fox, etc. — be willing to pay for such a documentary? Does $20 million sound about right?
The NBA and CAA (Creative Artists Agency) are shopping a 10-hour authorized documentary about Jordan. Production has not yet started, but the film will mostly be about His Airness’ comeback in the late ’90s (after his stint playing baseball), when he won three of his six championship rings.
The producing team is led by Mike Tollin, who spearheaded ESPN’s acclaimed “30 for 30” series and is partners with Peter Guber in Mandalay Sports Media. The project has been pitched to ESPN, Showtime, HBO and Fox Sports, and Jordan’s reps are looking for a deal somewhere north of $20 million.
Michael Jordan remains a captivating story and draw — his name still sells shoes, books, underwear, pretty much anything it’s attached to. He is now the primary owner of the Charlotte Hornets, but his business interests run far and wide.
And as we can tell you from the buzz around his 50th birthday recently, there is still plenty of people who want to read, watch, and know all things Jordan. The team putting this together is a good one, the kind of team that is not going to let this become a PR puff piece — there are difficult questions around Jordan that need to be part of a documentary, that need to be addressed. They can’t gloss over the gambling allegations, the punching of teammates and more.
As a side note, if you want to know Michael Jordan’s story well, read Roland Lazenby’s fantastic biography “Michael Jordan: The Life.”