Since joining HBO this summer, there hasn’t been much talk about what Bill Simmons will be doing with his new employer. And while his day to day role is still a bit unknown, we do know what Simmons’ first project at HBO will be – a documentary about WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giants, directed by 30 for 30 alum Jonathan Hock.
Hock has directed several 30 for 30 installments that received high praise, including The Best that Never Was, Unguarded, Survive and Advance, and Of Miracles and Men. Details on the Andre documentary are light, but there are plenty of stories about his life and career that could create a compelling film.
But in the Page Six piece that ties Hock and Simmons to the Andre documentary, there’s a quote that should make fans of 30 for 30 shudder.
“ESPN is contracting, and concentrating on live sports and highlights,” one insider told me. “HBO is going to have the serious, hard-hitting sports documentaries.”
Getting rid of, or scaling back, 30 for 30 would be a massive mistake on ESPN’s part. It’s one of the most praised ventures the company has embarked upon in the last six years, and kicking it to the curb would further eliminate some of the more positive feelings many have towards ESPN. I doubt they’ll completely eliminate 30 for 30, especially since the third volume of the series just began last month, but even considering the idea is ridiculous.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, it looks like we may have to pump the brakes on the HBO Andre the Giant doc.
Again: Talked to Jon Hock today of @HockFilms: He has not talked to HBO or Bill Simmons about any Andre The Giant project.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) November 6, 2015