Fox Aims for Social Network-Style Success for ESPN Expose

by Maggie Lange
July 27, 2011 7:55 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood
Twentieth Century Fox is securing the rights to the story of ESPN’s founding, along the lines of the transformation of non-fiction The Accidental Billionaires into The Social Network, reports Deadline. They should be so lucky!

Written by Pulitzer-Prize winner Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller, Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN was published in May and tells the gossipy inside story of ESPN backstabbing, egos, deception and intrigue. The book begins with the $9,000 purchase of the network on the founder’s credit card, and traces the movement into an empire worth more than the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball combined. Father and son Bill and Scott Rasmussen depleted their savings to buy a network to show sporting events nonstop.

In the years that ESPN expanded to own 52 national and international networks, magazines, restaurants, and radio programs, Getty Oil eventually took over and forced out the founders.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Those Guys Have All the Fun “details rampant sexual harassment and the poor handling of racial issues.” And according to Moviefone, “the trick will be to nail down the sprawling tale, one that has no single hero or villain.”

That ambiguity was the key factor behind The Social Network’s character-driven success. Safe to say that this ESPN tell-all would not be such a hot property if it didn't promise a similar zeitgeist-revealing expose,

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More: Genres, IN THE WORKS, Biopics

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