Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will star in a movie that will turn his Pepsi commercial character, Uncle Drew, into a full-length feature film, a company official confirmed Thursday. “Pepsi and Kyrie Irving are looking forward to expanding the Uncle Drew universe,” Lou Arbetter, who is general manager of Creators League Studio, Pepsi’s new in-house production company, said in a statement.
Maverick Carter leans back in a wooden chair, his right leg up on a desk, he takes stock of the game plan that he and his decidedly more famous partner have committed to: “LeBron and I have always been interested in the long game. And the long game here is to build a media company. To really, truly build a media company.”
And so as James trudges toward a seventh straight NBA Finals, he delegates to Carter, trusting his erstwhile high school teammate to build out the SpringHill and Uninterrupted portfolios. And Carter, in turn, relies on an inner circle that includes their high-powered entertainment agent, Ari Emanuel, the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor. “We’re still climbing Mount Kilimanjaro,” James says. “But having this group of people, who can put together my thoughts and bring them to fruition, is the vision that I had 10-plus years ago.”
“LeBron James will have one of the most exciting careers to be a part of for the next two decades,” says Paul Telegdy, who oversees The Wall as NBC’s president of alternative and reality programming. “Business, entertainment, anything you could apply branding to, he stretches the imagination.”
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving is hoping for a big screen slam dunk. Sources tell Variety that Temple Hill Entertainment has acquired the feature film rights to Irving’s “Uncle Drew” Pepsi commercials. “Skiptrace” scribe Jay Longino is set to write the script and Irving is attached to reprise the role of Drew. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, and John Fischer will produce the film, described as a love letter to basketball. The original Pepsi Max advertisements showed Irving, in full make-up, playing a 70-plus-year-old man, Drew, who would show up to pick-up basketball games and school kids half his age, while also reminiscing about how the game used to be played.