Why Michael Jordan rejected Idris Elba’s pitch to play him in a movie – Basketball Network

Idris Elba pitched a movie idea to Michael Jordan

A movie about Michael Jordan is sure to be a blockbuster. He remains one of the greatest icons in all of sport. Award-winning actor Idris Elba wants to play MJ in a movie and wasted no time telling The GOAT himself. Jordan’s response surprised him.

“I’m not ready yet”

There’s no shortage of storylines in a Michael Jordan biopic. His whole life, his NBA years and even after playing professional basketball could be told in a movie. Plots don’t even matter: just a movie poster with Michael Jordan’s name on it would surely get people curious, basketball fans or not.

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Playing him has been a dream come true for actor Idris Elba. He had the opportunity to tell MJ, but the six-time NBA champion isn’t ready to make a movie about his life just yet. Elba shared the story with Joe La Puma on one of Complex’s Sneaker Shopping episodes.

I even said to him once: ‘I want to play you’. He was like, ‘Hm, I’m not ready yet.’ That’s what he said, ‘I’m not ready yet.’ … I was very serious. In my mind, playing Jordan wouldn’t be playing basketball; it was the businessman. He is a very astute, very intelligent businessman. And his work as a philanthropist is not said, but people do not understand the work. He cares; he does a lot of work. So that’s where I was alluding to. I want to play Jordan, I do that. He was like, ‘Ah, I’m not ready for this story yet.'”

MJ may have felt there was still so much in store for him that a movie might not encapsulate the greatness of it all. But sooner or later he might say yes.

A film about MJ: Who says no?

Based on the reception of The Last Dance in 2020, people are still hungry for untold stories about the Chicago Bulls and its main protagonist Michael Jordan. What made Elba want to represent MJ was his success as a businessman off the basketball court. Jordan built an empire with his brand and became a billionaire; Idris is more interested in how MJ is as a businessman, NBA team owner, and boss.

However, like The Last Dance, any production about MJ and his life would need to get his approval before release. Maybe that’s why Jordan said he wasn’t ready yet. He has his hands tied to different businesses, activities and engagements in which he is involved. Making a biopic takes time and focus, which he may not have right now. Of course, a movie about MJ will be made in the future. His life is too big and lucrative for producers to turn down. The only question is whether Idris Elba is still in the running for the role.

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