Hoop Dreams goes to series as Lena Waithe inks Warner Bros TV deal

Warner Bros TV has announced that Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of NoneQueen & Slim, Ready Player One) has inked a new deal that brings the acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams to HBO Max as a scripted series.

Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions will produce the series that is based on the Kartemquin Films sports documentary Hoop Dreams, produced by Frederick Marx, Steve James, and Peter Gilbert

The story follows two African-American high school students, William Gates and Arthur Agee, in Chicago during the height of the Bulls and Michael Jordan, and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.

“We are excited to work with Hillman Grad, Playground and Warner Bros. Television on adapting Hoop Dreams into a scripted television series,” said James, Gilbert and Marx 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.”

Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani will executive produce Hoop Dreams under their Hillman Grad banner along with Scott Huff, David A. Stern, and Colin Callender of Playground Entertainment, and Steve James, Peter Gilbert, and Frederick MarxS.W.A.T. showrunner Aaron Rahsaan Thomas is set to write and executive produce.

In 2011, the documentary was ranked #1 on the TV special 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die. In 2005, Hoop Dreams was included in the annual selection of 25 motion pictures added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and recommended for preservation.

We have no confirmation yet but judging by the players involved, it is probably safe to assume the series will be filmed in Chicago.


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