Penny Marshall has long been a bit of an innovator. The former actress and successful director broke new ground in 1988, our good pals at Wikipedia tell us, when her film 'Big' became the first motion picture directed by a female to break the $100 million mark in earnings (we're guessing inflation has been adjusted for in regards to older films). And though her directorial work has taken a backseat over the last decade or so (perhaps in reaction to Chili Palmer's on-set rant towards the end of her single scene in 'Get Shorty'), she has become a ubiquitous presence at NBA games over the last 20 years.
Marshall's next project might be her most challenging yet. She apparently is already a few conversations in to putting together a documentary about Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. It's a tough gig, turning a subject like Rodman into a feature with any substance, but we don't doubt that Marshall is up to the task. Even if she lists 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' on her credits.
Lately, she has been working on a documentary about the basketball player Dennis Rodman, some of which she has been shooting via Skype. That came up because a) Ms. Marshall is a big sports fan. ("You can yell and scream at a game and no one's taking you away in a white coat.") And b) "I have a little radar to the insane," she said. "They seek me out. Dennis and his agent asked if I would do a documentary."
Save for his 2011 Hall of Fame induction, Dennis hasn't had it easy over the last few years, an unfortunate result that is also entirely of his making. And we don't doubt that his representatives have gotten in touch with just about any clinging relic from his relevant past. Marshall, a current-Los Angeles native that attended dozens of Chicago Bulls games in the 1990s as a Bulls fan, appears loyal to D-Rod in that role. Marshall even, as you can see in the picture posted above, attended his Hall of Fame induction last year.
And, as you can tell by that picture, Marshall and Rodman share similar … traits.
Both wear sunglasses, indoors and out, and neither is a fan of eye contact. Rodman is often inscrutable, even with the help of a microphone, and Marshall's Wall St. Journal feature points out that Penny "readily admits she has a mumbling problem," which would make behind the scenes outtakes required viewing in full stereo surround sound. And an obvious Saturday Night Live sketch, if the 20-somethings Hulu'ing actually remembered who Dennis Rodman was.
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Any bit with Dennis would help, as we continually pine for him to turn his life around in ways that don't involve taking another check to walk the red carpet at some lunkheaded company's body spray launch. Dennis Rodman is already 51 … but he's only 51. There is still plenty of time to initiate D-Rod Phase 2.0: Happy Ending.
And we trust the project in Marshall's hands, once she's done promoting her book. Though Marshall's forays into dealing with the world of professional sports stars has had its downs — like when the allegations hit earlier this year that she was duped out of a chunk of change by a shyster pretending to be representing Lamar Odom — a life spent loving sports also has its perks.
Like her memorabilia collection, as lovingly documented by one Metta World Peace:
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