Will Ferrell has been a Nascar driver, semi-pro Basketball player, and even a figure skater. Now, he intends on conquering the fast-rising video game leagues of eSports. eSports isn’t like your normal NFL, NBA, or MLB. Instead, it embodies not just one game, but several including League of Legends, Counterstrike, Super Smash Bros., World of Warcraft, etc.
If you’re unfamiliar with eSports and are scoffing at this idea, eSports is no joke. Where NFL players get $20 million contracts that get paid out over 4 years, eSports players can get close to that in one night, by winning championships and earning endorsements.
As for Ferrell’s new film, it’s way too early in the process to surmise what all the untitled movie will entail. However, given Ferrell’s age and the average eSports gamer retiring in their 20s, we can safely assume that he’ll either be a gaming prodigy who won’t quit the sport or is getting involved pretty late in life.
Legendary Pictures, Mosaic, and Gary Sanchez Productions have appointed Spongebob Squarepants 3 writers Michael Kvamme and Jordan Dunn to pen the script. A script that will involve two actual eSports teams Evil Geniuses and Fnatic.
Right now, they’re describing the movie as being similar to the style of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. If that’s the case, that could do wonders for eSports. Considering how new eSports still is to the masses, a star like Will Ferrell tackling a film like this could put the growing sport on the map.
For more on this announcement, check out the full press release below:
Los Angeles, CA – December 6, 2016 – Will Ferrell is plugging into the world of eSports, the competitive gaming scene that is quickly becoming one of the most popular spectator sports worldwide. What used to be relegated to basements and computer labs now fills arenas across the US, Europe and Asia. The biggest eSports tournaments feature teams of five playing head-to-head matches on a stage, with fans watching the game on the jumbotron. Teaming up with Legendary Pictures, Ferrell will star as a member of a professional eSports team, and an anomaly in a sport where players usually retire in their 20s due to slowing hand-eye coordination. The movie will be akin to what Ferrell did with the world of NASCAR racing in TALLADEGA NIGHTS. Michael Kvamme & Jordan Dunn will write the script. Evil Geniuses and Fnatic, two of the premiere eSports teams in the world, are in discussions to have a presence in the film.
Today’s top eSports players are as young as 15, and can earn millions of dollars through prize money, endorsements and streaming. The 2016 prize pool for the game DOTA’s championship was over $20 million, and last year’s League of Legends finals had more viewers than the World Series or NBA Finals. Although its audience primarily still exists on sites like Twitch and Youtube, eSports are now being covered on networks like ESPN, Fox Sports, and TBS with more than 200 million viewers for the events this year. The 2015 League of Legends finals had more viewers than the World Series or NBA Finals.These events resulted in revenue of more than $900 million this year as today’s top eSports players can earn millions of dollars through prize money, endorsements and streaming online.
Mosaic and Gary Sanchez are producing with Patrick Connelly and John Beach of Gravity Squared co-producing. Ferrell is currently in production on HOLMES & WATSON for Sony, reteaming with John C Reilly to play the legendary duo. He’s represented by Mosaic and UTA.
Kvamme and Dunn recently sold their spec OPERATION: PRINCE OF FREEDOM to Fox with Chernin and Gary Sanchez producing, and Jake Szymanski directing. They previously worked on SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS 3 for Paramount Animation and Mary Parent. They are repped by Mosaic and Verve.
Legendary’s partner Universal Pictures will handle worldwide distribution of the film outside of China.