Professional wrestling has had several moments. Moments when it crossed over into the mainstream and became a temporary part of the greater pop culture consciousness. While many folks may recall The Attitude Era, that gave the world stars like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, there was arguably no bigger zeitgeist moment for professional wrestling than the Rock n Wrestling Connection era. That period, which lasted from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s gave us Hulk Hogan, "The Macho Man" Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, and- of course- the legendary Andre The Giant.
Andre The Giant (real name Andre Roussimoff) was an integral part of that boom. He was a crossover star and an ambassador for the industry. If you knew nothing about wrestling, you still knew who Andre The Giant was. He even appeared in the beloved 80s cult classic, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, which helped cement him as an enduring pop culture phenom. And yet, this era came at the very end of his life. It was the culmination, and the zenith of an interesting journey. Ironically, while his in-ring exploits from this period were the stuff of legend, they came during a period when he was at his most physically diminished due to his lifelong battle with gigantism. He died only six years after the famous 1987 WrestleMania III match with Hogan, where he was supposedly body-slammed for the "first time ever."
Variety is now reporting that Lions Forge Comics and a pair of producers are going to team up to tell the story of Andre's life, including all of the ups and downs that would land him in that ring opposite Hogan, in a feature film. It'll be based on the authorized graphic novel biography "ANDRE THE GIANT: CLOSER TO HEAVEN." Andre's daughter, Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, will serve as a consultant on the film after having granted the producers exclusive rights for this adaptation.
"As a lifelong wrestling fan, I can say with conviction that no one was bigger than Andre,” David Steward II, Lion Forge CEO, said in a statement. “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 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," said producer Scott Steindorff.
The film will track Roussimoff's life, from his early days on the family farm in France, straight up to his ascension towards pop culture immortality.
His daughter has referred to the project as a labor of love, and she looks forward to sharing her father's story with the world.
WWE Films, a subsidiary of World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the World Wrestling Federation), is not listed as a producer on the project so it remains to be seen how the film will handle some of settings for the later story elements- which WWE owns the rights to.
Are you ready to see Andre's story become immortalized in film form?