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The name Disney is synonymous with many different types of films, but alongside those classic animated features, and, these days, the live-action remakes of those films, Disney has a long history of the "feel-good sports movie." Movies like Miracle and Remember the Titans have told remarkable real-life stories about sports, and now Disney is moving forward on a project to tell the story of NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and is looking for a child actor to play a young version of him.
The film, under the working title Greek Freak, was announced as a Disney+ title in development about a year ago, but it looks like the movie is now getting ready to go into production, as Giannis Antetokounmpo took to Twitter to launch a casting call. Disney is looking for a child actor to play the younger version of him, and the NBA star even included a few pictures of himself as a kid, in case you happen to look like him already.
According to the casting call in the link, Disney is looking for two actors to play Giannis Antetokounmpo at different ages, one to play him at ages 13-15, and another to play him at 15-18. It's an open call so literally anybody can potentially apply. If you know any young kids looking to break into acting, this would be an impressive debut. A bunch of people have already dropped their own headshots into the Twitter thread hoping to catch the eye of Antetokounmpo.
Giannis Antetokounmpo certainly has a story worthy of a feature film. He was born in Greece to Nigerian immigrants. He played basketball first in Greece, before moving to Spain. Then he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA in both 2019 and 2020. No word if noted Disney geek and fellow Bucks player Robin Lopez will find his way into the film.
The announcement of a casting call, beyond simply giving us an update on what's going on with this particular project, is also a sign that movie productions, in general, are continuing to slowly ramp up. Casting is usually the last thing to be dealt with before filming gets underway. And while these casting calls will probably take some time, as one would expect a flood of hopeful child actors and would-be child actors may apply, once they have their stars, Greek Freak will be ready to go before cameras.
This is just one of the sports movies on the way to Disney+. Safety will tell the story of "Ray-Ray" McElrathbey, who as a freshman at Clemson, raised his 11-year-old brother on campus while also trying to be a success on the field. While this was originally announced as a Disney+ project, the recent restructuring at Disney means that, if Greek Freak could more easily be transitioned to a theatrical film if the right people thought it was right for that sort of release. Though there's certainly no telling what that industry will even look like once this film is ready to be seen.