Steve James’ 1994 Oscar-nominated documentary Hoop Dreams, following two Black star high school basketball players from Chicago (William Gates and Arthur Agee) as they try to excel at the suburban St. Joseph High School, is getting a scripted adaptation from Waithe's Hillman Grad Productions. S.W.A.T. co-creator Aaron Rahsaan Thomas is set to write the series. James is on board as an executive producer, along with fellow Hoop Dreams producers Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx. As Variety notes, "to do well for Agee and Gates would mean to be recruited for an NCAA team, paving a way for them to get to the NBA. The 170-minute movie was famously created from 250 hours of footage shot over five years. The movie is considered to be one of the most thoughtful and immersive examinations of race and class in the United States that’s ever been produced, and it was added to the Criterion Collection in 2015." Hoop Dreams was so celebrated that it appeared to be a shoo-in to be nominated for the Oscar for best documentary. It wasn't, which caused great uproar. But Hoop Dreams did earn an Oscar nomination for film editing. TNT previously tried to make a scripted Hoop Dreams TV movie in the mid-90s. “We are excited to work with Hillman Grad, Playground and Warner Bros. Television on adapting Hoop Dreams into a scripted television series," the Hoop Dreams producers said in a statement. "There’s been quite a bit of interest over the years since the film came out in 1994, but Lena Waithe is the ideal Chicagoan to lead the effort to finally make it happen.” Hoop Dreams will be shopped to cable networks and streaming services.
TOPICS: Lena Waithe, Hoop Dreams, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Frederick Marx, Peter Gilbert , Steve James, In Development