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HBO is best known nowadays for its dramas like Westworld and Game of Thrones, but it also presents sports coverage that features everything from unscripted reality programming to world championship boxing. Now, HBO has a project in the works that will cover the life and accomplishments of one of the most iconic athletes of the 21st century. A documentary all about Andre the Giant will debut on HBO.
The documentary will be a feature-length special that follows Andre the Giant's life, starting with his upbringing in France before moving to his wrestling career in WWE and his big breaks into showbiz. It is set to include never-before-seen footage from his time in the spotlight as well as interviews from those who knew him to paint a full portrait of how he became the legend that he did during his lifetime.
The feature will be directed by Justin Hehir, who built his career on sports coverage. He has written, produced, and directed on projects like UFC Primetime, Jose Canseco: Last Shot, and multiple installments of ESPN's 30 for 30 sports documentary series. He should be the perfect person to helm the Andre the Giant documentary for HBO.
Justin Hehir will be joined behind the scenes by Bill Simmons, who signed on with HBO after leaving ESPN in 2015. Simmons actually created 30 for 30 back in 2009, but he never got around to producing a installment about Andre the Giant. Luckily, he'll be able to use his HBO deal to finally make the documentary happen, even if not under the 30 for 30 banner. Simmons will work as an executive producer on the project.
Andre the Giant first made his way into the spotlight in the 1970s thanks to his debut into the World Wrestling Federation (which would later become World Wrestling Entertainment). He stood at a massive 7'4" and weighed in at more than 500 pounds in the early days of his wrestling career, and he became known to wrestling fans at "The 8th Wonder of the World" throughout the 1980s. The big man may be most well-remembered for his role as Fezzik in the cult classic movie The Princess Bride back in 1987. Although he passed away in early 1993 at the age of 46 due to complications from his gigantism, his legacy clearly lives on.
Interestingly, the HBO documentary is one of two Andre the Giant-centric projects that have been slated for production. His daughter began work in 2016 on a biopic film about his life and career that would be based on the Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven graphic novel. We can't say at this point whether we'll get to see the biopic any time soon, but the HBO documentary is definitively in the works.