HBO has released a trailer for a new documentary chronicling the life and career of the 8th wonder of the world, Andre the Giant. The proclamation the teaser makes is simple and clear; “He was a god”. The documentary is being produced by Bill Simmons. This is good news as Simmons spearheaded the ESPN ’30 for 30’ docuseries before he left the company in 2014. The teaser is short and appears to feature a voiceover from David Shoemaker (who wrote one of my favorite books on pro wrestling) providing a context of just how big a figure Andre was in his day.
Andre the Giant was one of the biggest wrestling stars in the 70’s & 80’s. His career hit its zenith in his WrestleMania III main event with Hulk Hogan. That match famously saw what happened when “The irresistible force meets the immovable object!” and culminated with Hogan managing to get the (Kayfabe) 7’4” giant off of his feet and body slam all 500 pounds of him. Andre also appeared in films after his in ring career winded down, most notably ‘The Princess Bride’.
An Andre the Giant documentary has apparently long been a passion project for Simmons and I am much more excited about this being an HBO property than an ESPN one. The reason for this is twofold. One, I think HBO has a better track record than ESPN when it comes to documentaries (and I love ESPN documentaries so that’s saying a lot). Secondly, I think the close relationship that ESPN and WWE has formed lately doesn’t provide enough distance to make a truly honest and great documentary. ‘Andre the Giant’ is set for release from HBOfilms in April 2018.
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