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Chicago Bulls

Idris Elba reveals Michael Jordan rejected his request to play him in a biopic

Michael Jordan
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most legendary characters in the world of sports is Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan.

Jordan, who dominated the NBA during the 1990s, has lived a big life both on and off the court. Given that fact, it wouldn’t be much of a shock to find out that a lot of movie stars in Hollywood would love to play the role of Jordan in a biopic.

According to English movie star Idris Elba, he requested to play Jordan in a movie, but the six-time NBA champ rejected the request.

Elba recently appeared on an episode of Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping” and revealed that he spoke with Jordan about potentially playing him in a movie.

“I even said to him one time, ‘I want to play you,'” Elba told host Joe La Puma. “He was like, ‘Hm, I’m not ready yet.’ That’s what he said, ‘I’m not ready yet.’ … I was dead serious.”

Elba even went into detail in terms of how he would have liked to approach the role.

“In my head, playing Jordan wouldn’t be about playing the basketball player; it was about the businessman,” he said. “He is a very astute businessman, really smart. And his work as a philanthropist is unspoken, but people don’t understand the work. He cares; he does a lot of work. So that’s where I was hinting at. I wanna play Jordan – I’m doing that. He was like, ‘Ah, I’m not ready for that story yet.'”

Elba is known for playing characters that are suave, masculine and sometimes ruthless. It’s why his name is often brought up when discussing actors who could possibly play the iconic role of James Bond. Those characteristics would likely also help him create a compelling Jordan.

At 49 years old, Elba would likely play Jordan after his playing days in the NBA. For now, that doesn’t seem like a concern, however, as Jordan himself does not seem all that interested in watching his life portrayed on the big screen.

It will be fascinating to see if the NBA legend’s opinion ever changes on that matter. If it does, actors all over the world will surely line up to try to nab the role.


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