ESPN tell-all to be turned into a film. Who will play Keith Olbermann and friends?


Image Credit: Dana Edelson/NBC

It’s official. EW has confirmed that Twentieth Century Fox is acquiring the rights and developing a big-screen adaptation of Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller’s racy, randy tell-all, ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun. The gossipy, doorstop-sized oral history of the 24-hour sports network — in particular, its frat house-style early years — snagged a slew of headlines when it was published back in May thanks to its tawdry tales of on-air rivalries, inter-office prostitution, and of course, Keith Olbermann’s mammoth ego. With David Fincher’s The Social Network providing a blue-print of how to adapt a start-up saga like this one and Bennett Miller’s jock-themed Moneyball hitting theaters in September, we expect big things from this one. And since it’s never too early to start thinking about casting, here are our suggestions for some of the key players.

Keith Olbermann: Long before he ballooned into the self-important voice of the Left, Olbermann was the winningly snarky cohost of SportsCenter. This one is almost too easy for anyone who saw Ben Affleck’s Olbermann impersonation on SNL.

Chris Berman: The closest thing ESPN has to a cartoon mascot, Berman is a beefy prima donna who makes every highlight clip his own forum for coining silly catchphrases. We see either John Goodman or our favorite Law & Order character actor, George Dzundza.

Dick Vitale: Speaking of catchphrases (Nothin’ but net, baby!!!) ESPN’s resident college-hoops pontificator and all-around master of throat-shredding histrionics is gonna provide some tough loafers to fill. We think Stanley Tucci could ace this one with the help of some old-age make-up.

Stephen A. Smith: Easy. Gotta be Will Smith. Just give him some grumpy pills first.

Erin Andrews: Friday Night Lights‘ Connie Britton seems like a lock to play the sideline reporter/Dancing With the Stars contestant. Plus, we already know she likes football.

Craig Kilborn: We can think of only one man able to summon the necessary amount of smarmy on-air sarcasm for this role: Kilborn himself. Seriously, what else is he doing?

Now it’s your turn. Who would you cast in the ESPN movie?

Comments (22 total) Add your comment
  • Max

    First of all, I’m not quite sure how they turn this book into a movie. I love ESPN and thought the book was entertaining, but I’m not sure I want to see it in movie form…
    Second, upon a cursory glance of the article, I noticed a mistake: “The gossipy, doorstop-sized oral history of the 24-hour sports network — in particular, it’s frat house-style early years — ” Of course, it should be “its”. This is obviously not the end of the world, but if that doesn’t get corrected before it gets put up, I believe I am certainly qualified for a job here. I can send you my resume if you’d like. Thanks.

    • whatevs

      Max, if you know how to spell or use correct grammar, you are overqualified to work here (or any entertainment site for that matter). It’s even worse if you know how to do both.

    • EW Staff

      Thanks for your interest, Max! Unfortunately, our position of “Resident Douchebag” is currently occupied. If we have need of further douchebaggery, we will be sure to contact you!

      • Max

        Seriously? I wasn’t trying to be mean. I’m serious. I’m just not sure how those errors get through.

      • EW staff

        Well, right now Kanye West, Leighton Meester’s mom, and Jesse James have all applied. So we might have to get back to you.

      • Maddy

        WOW. I hate people who come on this site and point out spelling and grammar errors as much as the next person, but sheesh. At least the guy cares enough about your magazine to read your stories and comment. Don’t fight douchebaggery with douchebaggery.

      • Kristin

        OK, clearly that is not actually the staff of EW writing those comments…

  • Chad

    Josh Charles and Peter Krause…oh wait, that’s been done.

  • Kevin

    Connie Britton as Erin Andrews? What the hell are you smoking? Connie Britton is hot, but not THAT hot. Only one person can do Erin Andrews justice… Erin Andrews. But I doubt she would be in the movie anyway since it will probably only focus on the early years.

    • katy

      I love Britton, but I think there’s a bit of an age difference.

    • KSG

      I think Blake Lively looks the part….

  • tracy bluth

    Ben Affleck’s great Keith Olbermann impression was the first step to get me to like him again before I saw Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I would totally support him as Olbermann.

  • LOL

    GOP fears Olbermann. Britton as Andrews? That doesn’t work.

  • LOLHarder

    No one fears Olbermann.

  • me

    Damon Wayans, Jr. as Stewart Scott.

    • rjh90

      Actually I see Damon Wayans Jr. more as Stephen A. Smith than Stewart Scott. He could definitely pull that off

  • S.O.

    Jay Pharoah of SNL should play either Stewart Scott or Stephen A. Smith

  • Me?

    Ben Seaver from “Growing Pains”, Jeremy Miller should play Olbermann.

  • Lindsay

    I can still hear Affleck as Oblermann, ranting about “Miss Precious Perfect.” I was in tears during that skit- he needs to play him again.

  • Jill

    Just off of the top of my head,Paul Giamatti as Tony Kornheiser,and Forrest Whitacker as Michael Wilbon.

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