“Those Guys Have All the Fun,” the history of ESPN co-written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, is on its way to becoming a movie.
Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has picked up film rights to the book, a warts-and-all chronicle of the cable network’s founding, rise and current behemoth status in sports and pop culture. The project is a long way from the casting stage — the studio hasn’t even hired a screenwriter yet — but we thought we’d help get things started with a few suggestions of our own.
We get that the movie will likely focus on the off-camera drama at ESPN, and we’ll leave the casting of those roles to the professionals. But we have a few thoughts on who can play some of ESPN’s on-air talent.
Chris Berman: One of two original ESPN anchors still with the network, Berman is a larger-than-life figure there. Michael Chiklis has a big enough personality to play the role — he’ll just need a hairpiece.
Gayle Gardner: One of the first female “SportsCenter” anchors, Gardner was at the network in the early and mid-1980s, and we think she kind of looks like Alicia Witt.
Robin Roberts: Before she moved to “Good Morning America” full-time, Roberts was a fixture at ESPN for more than a decade. “Bones” star Tamara Taylor would be a good fit.
Charley Steiner: He’s a fine broadcaster, but his tenure at ESPN is maybe best remembered for his numerous on-air crackups and his starring role in several “This is ‘SportsCenter'” commercials. Because of the comedic possibilities inherent in the role, let’s slap a mustache and beard on Will Ferrell and let the cameras roll.
Kenny Mayne: Though the official ESPN line is to keep an arm’s-length distance from the book (and presumably the film), we could totally see Mayne playing himself. If not, get Aaron Eckhart.
Dick Vitale: An uncredited Kevin Spacey cameo. We know he’s a good impressionist, and we know he can rock a bald cap.