In what would be big news for long-time wrestiing fans, Stone Village Production and Lion Forge Comics will be teaming up to produce a biopic about the life of the iconic pro wrestler Andre “The Giant” Roussimoff.
The project is based on the authorized graphic novel biography which was published last year, Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven. Scott Steindorff, one of the producers for Stone Village Production, alongside Dylan Russell is quite excited about the planned film, with it not just being a film about wrestling, but a human story about a man who overcame difficulties to become a hero and success in a foreign country.
Andre the Giant rode the wave of the rise of wrestling in America, while suffering from the painful health condition of gigantism – there’s an Elephant Man story here.
In addition to his wrestling career, Roussimoff also had a starring role in Rob Reiner’s classic 1987 fantasy comedy The Princess Bride as Fezzik, part of a trio of bandits with characters played by Wallace Shawn and Mandy Patinkin. He began wrestling professionally at the age of 17 and was billed as being 7-feet-4 and over 500 pounds – which alone made his a terrifying presence in the room, though his warm-hearted personality portrayed a different image entirely.
Lion Forge CEO David Steward II felt that the story told in the graphic novel is perfect for adapting into the movie.
As a lifelong wrestling fan, I can say with conviction that no one was bigger than Andre. His presence and charisma were so powerful, and you could tell there was much more to him under the surface of his ring persona. It’s been an amazing experience telling that story in the book with Robin’s help. With all the spectacle, action, and emotion there on the page, a feature film just made perfect sense.
“Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven” was written by Brandon Easton and illustrated by Denis Medri. The story recounts the wrestler’s life from his early days on a family farm in France and the rise of professional wrestling itself through the World Wrestling Federation, which grew in large part due to Andre the Giant’s celebrity.
Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, Andre’s real life daughter who will consult on the film and assigned the exclusive rights for the biography to the producers.
It’s been a labor of love for everyone involved, and we’re really looking forward to making it available to a larger audience.
While I’m not a wresting aficionado, Andre the Giant is a person that I think was inspirational to everyone not just wresting fans and this is a good character to make a movie off as it will have wide appeal. He certainly had a unmistakable charisma that made him popular among fans and a tragic life story which I think will make for a good movie. It’s still early days, so no scriptwriters or directors have been assigned to the film, but I would be really interested to see who they might get to fill the gigantic shows of the title character – not just in terms of size, but performance as well.
The article originally appeared on TheMovies
Last Updated: May 12, 2016