James Franco Seeking to Direct Movie About ESPN’s Founding

James Franco

Actor James Franco is reportedly in talks to direct a movie based on the founding of ESPN, according to a report.

According to the reports, Franco is in talks to direct a film based on Jim Miller’s 2011 book on the history of the cable network entitled, Those Guys Have All The Fun, Awful Announcing said.

The early notes on the film indicate that it will focus mainly on the early days of ESPN’s founding. As Collider reported:

Collider has also learned that Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher C. Rogers has been tapped to rewrite the script, which will follow Bill Rasmussen, a communications executive who teamed up with his son, Scott, to launch the world’s first 24-hour cable TV network. But first, the Rasmussens had to max out their credit cards to scrape together enough cash to reserve a satellite transponder so they could show sporting events nonstop throughout the day.

In addition to Rasmussen and his family, key characters will include Stu Evey, the former Getty Oil executive who became the founding chairman of ESPN; NBC Sports president Chet Simmons, who left NBC to become the president of ESPN; RCA salesman Al Parinello; Anheuser-Busch exec Claude Bishop; and Scotty Connal, an early VP of production at ESPN.

The director and star of The Disaster Artist has been withering under a barrage of #MeToo accusations that he his treated various female co-stars and crew members inappropriately.

Franco was accused by five women of sexually abusive behavior early this year. The women accused Franco of exploitative behavior after they went to him for career advice and mentoring in the acting business or after winning minor roles in his films.

The actor was also accused of acting in an abusive manner during the filming of nude scenes, the LA Times reported in January.

Several of the women took to Twitter with their accusations:

Responding to the tweets on Late Night with Seth Meyers, the actor said, “The [tweets] I read were not accurate. But one of the things I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had.”

Franco also denied all charges that he has been inappropriate with female actresses.

However, some of his entertainment associates have cleared him of wrongdoing. HBO, for instance, claimed to have investigated the claims and later announced that it “felt comfortable” continuing its relationship with the actor on his series The Deuce.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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