Andre the Giant Documentary Announced by WWE's Vince McMahon, HBO's Bill Simmons

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2017

FILE - This is a 1988 file photo showing professional wrestler Andre the Giant. HBO Sports, and the Bill Simmons Media Group will produce
Richard Drew/Associated Press

Bill Simmons and HBO Sports, in cooperation with WWE, announced Monday they will produce a documentary on legendary wrestler Andre the Giant.

The project will be directed by Jason Hehir, who previously served as a producer for ESPN's 30 for 30 series and the 2010 documentary Finding Hulk Hogan.

"For more than 20 years, Andre the Giant's larger-than-life personality and unique charisma captured the imagination of fans around the world," WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said in a statement, per Daniel Holloway of Variety. "I will always value our friendship and am proud to tell the story of the 'Eighth Wonder of the World.'"

No release date for the film has been set.

An Andre the Giant documentary has long been a dream project of Simmons, who helped create and produce 30 for 30 before leaving ESPN in 2015. When Simmons signed a multi-platform deal with HBO later that year, which included producing his Any Given Wednesday series that was canceled in November, Richard Johnson of Page Six reported an Andre the Giant doc would be in the works.

"Going back to 2007 and 2008 when I was creating and developing 30 for 30 for ESPN, Andre's story rode the top of every single sports documentary wish list I ever made," Simmons said. "We always hear about unicorns these days—Andre was the ultimate unicorn. He's a true legend. Everyone who ever crossed paths with him has an Andre story—and usually four or five. I'm delighted to join forces with Jason Hehir and WWE so we can capture Andre's amazing story once and for all."

Hehir's name was first attached to the project by Ben Koo of Awful Announcing in June.

Andre the Giant is one of the most iconic names in wrestling. He competed for the WWF from 1973 through 1991, and his stature made him an international draw. He challenged the likes of Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage to be the biggest star in the company during its rise in the 1980s, and his WrestleMania III match with Hogan—during which Hogan picked up and slammed the 520-pounder—is one of the most memorable moments in WWE history.

Born Andre Rene Roussimoff in France in 1946, Andre the Giant had acromegaly, which causes too much growth hormone to be produced and results in abnormal growth in the hands, feet and face.

Wrestlers who traveled with Andre often passed along stories of his drinking prowess, including the time he allegedly consumed 156 beers in a single binge.

He died of heart failure at 46.

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