EXCLUSIVE: After aggressively pursuing rights, Lionsgate has come on to the spec 48 Hours In Vegas, which is inspired by the crazy story of how NBA star Dennis Rodman went on a madcap adventure with his skittish assistant GM in the middle of the 1998 NBA Finals. The film will detail a budding friendship that neither one of them ever thought was possible but will end up solving both of their problems.
The film will be produced by Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Aditya Sood for Lord Miller. Ari Lubet, Will Allegra and Rodman will executive produce. The screenplay will be written by Jordan VanDina.
“There’s only one Dennis Rodman. In 1998, there was nobody on Earth who’d be more fun – or maybe more dangerous – to party with. And yet that’s not even half of who he is,” said Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. “This movie takes you on an unforgettable ride with the myth, the legend, and also the man that Dennis is, behind everything you think you know. We could not be more thrilled to be working with Phil, Chris, Aditya, Ari, Will, and Jordan, and above all, Dennis, whose amazing career and life will make for an off-the-wall hilarious yet completely human and emotional movie. You think you know anything about ’The Worm’? Just you wait!”
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Everybody had heard the rumors of this crazy story when it first happened in the ’90s, but it was recently given the spotlight again following the success of the Michael Jordan-Chicago Bulls doc The Last Dance, which premiered to massive numbers last May. The incident was given the full treatment in the doc, with everyone from Jordan to coach Phil Jackson to supermodel Carmen Electra talking about what went down as Rodman took the trip all while the Bulls were trying to complete its second three-peat championship run.
VanDina penned the script during the pandemic and, once it hit the market, Lionsgate was instantly in love with this idea and all the crazy characters involved in the story, pushing hard to land the rights.
“Dennis refused to follow the herd,” said Lord and Miller. “That is what made him a target and it’s also what made him a star. His weekend in Las Vegas is full of fun and high jinks but it is also full of important questions about the way public figures, and workers are treated, especially when their individuality is expressed so vividly.”
Aaron Edmonds and Jorge Alfaro Silva will oversee for the studio. Bonnie Stylides closed the deals for Lionsgate.
Lord Miller recently produced Netflix’s animated feature The Mitchells vs. The Machines, which is Netflix’s biggest animated film to date. The duo won the Animated Feature Oscar for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and is currently in production on the sequel. Other production credits include 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street and Cocaine Bear, which is currently in production with Elizabeth Banks attached to direct. They are represented by United Talent and Ziffren Brittenham.
VanDina recently wrote for Animaniacs and the feature The Binge. He is represented by UTA and 3 Arts. Rodman is repped by manager Steven Simon of Prince Marketing Group and attorney Annika K. Vanghagen.