After watching his fantastic new NBA Live ’08 commercials with Kevin Durant, we started to realize that Gilbert Arenas really has the potential to be a star. And we aren’t just talking about his basketball ability, the guy could crossover into the world of television or even movies. He has the sense of humor, looks and million dollar smile to make Hollywood come calling. Once we decided he had that ability, we decided to cook up some projects for him. So here are some projects we came up with.
Ace of Spades
A buddy cop movie set in Las Vegas, starring Arenas as Vincent White and Michael Madsen as Chuck Black. White, recently promoted to detective, teams with Black, whose last partner was killed by Mafia elements trying to re-establish themselves in their old playground. Black and White are charged with bringing down Mafia-Kingpin Angelo Chianese (played by Vincent Pastore).
Black’s depression over the death of his young partner (played by Casey Affleck in flashbacks) leads him to drink heavily, and further draw himself into the dark underbelly of Vegas. White’s job is to pull him out of that and re-focus him on the task at hand. The movie is centered on the witty banter between the two cops, who instantly dislike each other. Of course, racial humor finds its way into the dialogue as neither man seems to understand the habits of the other. Lots of humor is tied into the gritty storyline and the two men find friendship, and themselves, as they move to take down evil in Sin City.
Tentative working title for the next adventure in the James Bond series. Arenas would play (naturally) “Agent Zero” a former member of the British SAS and young recruit of MI6, who after being passed over for promotion to “Double-0″ status in favor of Bond, turned on his country to work for criminal elements. A strong supporting role, as “Agent Zero” aka William Lennox, is a peripheral villain who gives Bond plenty of trouble. Lennox, the British born son of Jamaican parents, plans to fix the FIBA World Basketball Championship, while betting heavily on the winner. The money made from this endeavor being supplied by terrorists who plan to use the winnings to fund planned operations in Rome, London and Los Angeles. Lennox would benefit by the $100 million he would be paid for orchestrating the fix.
The climax of his part in the film is a hand to hand fight in the rafters of Munich’s Olymphialle arena during the Championship game. Bond (again played by Daniel Craig) angers “Agent Zero” by continuing to refer to how he was just the better choice, while Lennox insists it was institutional racism.
Todd Phillips directs this comedy about Dickie Jones, a sports agent (played by Luke Wilson) and his best friend/client Mark Campbell, played by Arenas. The movie centers around the agent’s love-life and how much he hates his job because it takes up so much of his time. Meanwhile, Campbell, a fringe NBA player who can barely last with a team, is swimming in women. He tries to give his buddy advice and set him up, with hilarious consequences. When a hot new agent, Cassandra (played by Leah Remini) joins the agency, Dickie gets very interested in his work again. Naturally, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller make cameos as agents competing for clients and Cassandra’s attention.
A grainy, gritty Independent film directed by Larry Charles, about a failed artist named Tommy (played by Nick Stahl) who is trying to get his life together in New York City. Arenas plays Benny, Stahl’s roommate, a former high school football star who got hooked on painkillers after he tore up his knee, ruining his shot at stardom. Benny kicked his painkiller habit, replacing it with heroin, and his storyline focuses on how his world revolves around his habit. Tommy is constantly being pulled into a world of drugs and failed dreams by those around him, including his junkie girlfriend Delia (played by Bijou Phillips), and Benny. Realizing he needs to pull out of that world, but knowing that he isn’t able to, Tommy contemplates ending it all. A way for Arenas to prove his real acting ability.
Terry George writes and directs a story in which Arenas plays Charles Winston, a famous actor on a star-studded good-will trip to several African countries. In Kenya and feeling the pressure of all the press on the trip, Winston decides to go off on his own to see the “real Africa” with a local guide (played by Djimon Hounsou). When the two get lost, they find themselves across the border in Uganda, where a Civil War between the ruling government and the Lord’s Resistance Army has flared up. Wishing to just get out and get back to where they came from, they find the border checkpoints closed and massive deportations and killings erupting all around them.
When they stumble upon a group of 300 orphans, being led by the head of the orphanage (played by Don Cheadle) they realize they must help them. If captured by the LRA, the children will either be killed or forced into the Army. Their mission becomes to re-cross the border with the children and make it back to their group alive and tell the world what they have seen. A powerful film in which a pampered actor finds a true connection to his ancestral homeland and through his heroism, saves lives.
Finally, we came up with what we think is THE project for Arenas to break in with.
Blue Chips II
After resigning his position as athletic director at Western University, Vic (played again by Bob Cousy) took a position as President of Basketball Operations for and bought a stake in the NBA’s New York Monarchs (couldn’t get the Knicks to agree to licensing their name). A stipulation in his contract, says if the team doesn’t win a championship in five seasons, he’s out and his ownership shares go to another partner, who plans to move the team. After the fourth season Vic sees his team’s lack of discipline, focus and fundamentals and realizes there is only one man who can turn it around, his old coach at Western U., Pete Bell.
Bell (Nick Nolte) coached high school ball for a few years after the pay-for-play scandal at Western, but had recently gained fame by turning around the fortunes of a European franchise. Vic calls, tells his old pal the situation, and Bell knows it’s his last chance to coach big time basketball in America. He takes the job with the stipulation that he controls the roster and can pick his own coaching staff. His first move is to find his favorite former player, Tony (Anthony C. Hall), having passed T.V. (that’s a tough class, you don’t just watch the tube) Tony became a youth counselor in Los Angeles, but his heart was still with the game.
As he assembles a roster of tough players (including Rick Fox as team leader Art Johnson) Bell realizes he still needs a dynamic scorer if he hopes to contend in the Eastern Conference. Then his old friend and scout Slick (Cylk Cozart) approaches him and tells him he has a gem no one has heard of named Bobby “Boom Boom” Baskins (played by Arenas). He’s former small college star, who went to Europe and dominated, but became a pariah because his problems with former coaches.
(Excerpt from script)
Slick: “Look he’s got issues. He once knocked out a coach for taking him out after he had already dropped 50 in a game. He’s been dominating everybody but no one will give him a shot. I know if anyone could handle him it’d be you. Want me to show you what I’m talking about?”
Bell: “Well where is he?”
-Cut to a dusty old gym in Geneva, New York, where “Boom Boom” is destroying his opponents.
Bell immediately signs Baskins and lets him know that it’s his way or the highway. Baskins has recently had a son and realized that some things are more important than pride. With his dynamic scorer in tow, Bell’s Monarchs explode on the scene, locking up the No. 2 seed in the East, and making it to the conference finals. There they face the Detroit Motors, led by Rip Hamilton, Jermaine O’Neal and Dirk Nowitzki. They win in a dramatic seventh game, when their old leader, Johnson rebounds a bad shot taken by “Boom Boom” (against the Bell’s wishes), and lays it in for a one-point win. Baskins and Bell have it out in the locker room after the win, and the team’s star threatens to quit.
The win sets up a finals match up against the three-time defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs, led by Tim Duncan, Baron Davis and Amare Stoudemire. Before the series, Stoudemire approaches Bell and tells him that he knows about the stipulation in Vic’s contract, and that for the right price he’ll throw the game to make sure the old man keeps what he has. Bell contemplates that but knows what cheating did to him before and turns it down, drawing the ire of Stoudemire, who vows to destroy the Monarchs. Baskins returns before game one and apologizes, stating that this team is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. The series, predictably, goes to a seventh game, but in the closing moments of a solid game six win, Johnson is pushed by Stoudemire, and lands awkwardly on his knee, taking him out of the final game. This means that Bell must trust “Boom Boom” with his team’s fate. In a dramatic finish, he draws up a play, and Baskins executes it to perfections nailing a 3-pointer to seal the title and save the Monarchs.
So that’s what we came up with. Anyone else have any suggestions?