Get excited, everyone, because this is happening for real and not in a fever dream like last time, when you dreamt you were Big Baby, which was weird for everyone — Carmelo Anthony(notes) and Dwight Howard(notes) will "star in a basketball film with an award-winning Chinese director named 'Amazing,'" the NBA and Shanghai Film Group announced Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports that the NBA/SFG called the production "the first NBA-themed motion picture outside of North America." Filming in New York, Beijing and Shanghai will run through November, with an opening slated for next summer. Can't wait for the Ed Hardy tee-xedo that Dwight will wear to walk the red carpet. (According to our in-house statistician, that joke makes this the 314th consecutive Dwight Howard-related BDL post to include an Ed Hardy joke. Way to go, team!)
SIDE NOTE: I double-checked, because the syntax was bogglin' — "Amazing" is the name of the flick, not the name of the director. That bro's named Hu Xuehua, a.k.a. Sherwood Hu, a.k.a. All the Best Nicknames from this Collection of Cool Nicknames, especially "Oaf Dawg."
The Orlando Magic's website has the NBA's press release announcing the project, co-starring their eternally camera-ready pivot. Interestingly enough, the Denver Nuggets' site doesn't appear to have a palette-swapped story promoting Carmelo's role, which means I must don my offseason hype hat.
Clearly this means the Nuggets plan to sever ties with 'Melo forthwith. Doing this movie will lead to "Super Friends 2," which sounds like a movie but is actually a sequel to a basketball team. Detail for me immediately the best trade offer your favorite team can propose. Have you taken leave of your senses, man? They would never move him for that. "Small Wonder" was really about the '83 Pistons. Vicki was a metaphor for Earl Cureton and America's response to the advance of Japanese automotive technology. What is La La saying now? That is supremely relevant. OK, hat off.
Quoth the NBA/SFG release:
"Amazing," a basketball-themed movie about young people achieving their dreams through hard work, follows a long list of NBA-inspired movies made in the U.S., including "He Got Game" (1998), with Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington; "Eddie" (1996), with Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (1992); "Space Jam" (1996), with six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan; and "Forget Paris" (1996) with Billy Crystal.
OK, granted: Not exactly the greatest, most confidence-inspiring group of motion pictures there. The track record's pretty dicey when those are the four flicks you deliberately choose to include in your promotional statement. Then again, I guess you need to use something in order to keep the memories of "Celtic Pride" and "Like Mike" where they belong -- buried beneath a case of Boone's Farm and a solemn promise you made to yourself on a lonely Saturday afternoon.
But achieving dreams? Hard work? Young people? Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, well-known Asian actors and Eric Mabius of "Ugly Betty" and "The Crow: Salvation" fame? That all sounds excellent, and you're not raining on my parade, Mr. Cool Cineaste. I'd like to buy my ticket to paradise now, please.
Over at Pro Basketball Talk, the ever-ebullient Kurt Helin says he hopes the film is "in Chinese and they dub in the voices for Anthony and Howard. Then Woody Allen can get the rights and make 'What's Up, Tiger Lily? 2.'" This is a wonderful hope, and we here at BDL share his wishes.
Five more things we'd like to see in "Amazing," GO:
• Stan Van Gundy telling anyone who will listen that China will have the greatest year of any nation ever next year, all while winking and saluting an American flag.
• A subplot tracing the forbidden love affair between a beautiful, rebellious local girl (played by Zhang Ziyi) and a mysterious loner/renegade genetic engineer/barnstorming ballplayer (played by J.R. Smith(notes)).
• A stirring oratory (and, let's be honest, presumptive Oscar speech) given by an impeccably mustachioed Chris Andersen(notes) as he prepares to lead a troop of preternaturally gifted child warriors into a conflict from which they will not all return.
There won't be a dry eye in the house. Even notoriously severe critic Nene gives this project a positive review, "At the Movies"-style.