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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Jeremy Lin

Linsanity The Movie? Jeremy Lin gets documentary treatment

April 4, 2012 |  2:35 pm

 

Lin

EXCLUSIVE: The Linsanity that Jeremy Lin touched off this winter has faded, a casualty of the New York Knicks point guard’s drop in productivity and the recent knee surgery that ended his regular season.

But the surreal period in which a former bench warmer led the Knicks on a seven-game winning streak while helping a lot of headline writers show off will live on, at least if Hollywood has anything to do with it.

Lin is the subject of a documentary that is being pitched to distributors in Hollywood by agency CAA; footage is currently being assembled.

According to a person familiar with the pitch who was not authorized to talk about it publicly, the movie (no firm title yet, so let your pun-riddled imagination run wild) looks both at Lin's unlikely run in the NBA as well at his humble background. Los Angeles-born and Palo-Alto raised, Lin shone at Harvard after being passed over by recruiters at college powerhouses, then bounced around pro basketball as an undrafted free agent before landing with the Knicks. The movie will also include elements of his Christian faith.

The Lin doc is being directed by Evan Jackson Leong, Lin’s friend and a filmmaker in his own right. A former assistant to “Fast and Furious” franchise director Justin Lin (no relation), Leong previously directed a documentary about Christianity in Asia titled "1040" and also has been shooting Lin for years. (A message left at Leong's production company was not returned Wednesday afternoon.) The film will be produced by  408 Films and Endgame Entertainment, which previously produced the Oscar favorite "An Education" and the documentary "Every Little Step;" it's currently working on a documentary series about American sports for HBO.

It won’t be the first time Lin will be seen outside the precincts of SportsCenter. Lin is active on YouTube, regularly posting videos to his own account. In addition, a series of "Day in the Life" videos, made with Leong's help when Lin was still a struggling backup with the Golden State Warriors, became a viral sensation after No. 17 hit it big with the Knicks.

Lin proved endlessly fascinating when he came out of nowhere earlier this year, showing unbridled enthusiasm while netting at least 20 points and seven assists in his first five starts. But does that interest live on, and will it be enough to sustain a theatrical or high-profile television documentary? Lin’s basketball future is also cloudy — he’s a free agent after this year — so we’ll see if the movie can, Lin-style, get by on large amounts of grit. Spike Lee, if ever there was a film project calling your name ....

RELATED:

Linsanity: Jeremy Lin by the numbers

Jeremy Lin: Is he Neo from 'The Matrix?'

Jeremy Lin scores for TV, Twitter and the Knicks

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Jeremy Lin. Credit: Getty Images


Jeremy Lin: Is he Neo from ‘The Matrix’?

February 16, 2012 |  6:29 pm

Jeremy-lin-keanu-reeves
Numerous film characters come to mind when one thinks about Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks point guard who has overcome doubters and skeptics to lead his team on a seven-game winning streak. Lin and his "Linsanity" conjures “Invincible” protagonist Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), coaching at a Philadelphia high school before living his dream as an Eagles wide receiver. “Hoosiers,” the story of a small-town Indiana high school that goes on an improbable run to the state championship, floats to the top of the list too.

And of course there’s “Rudy,” the movie about an undersized college student who one day gets to take the field for his beloved Fighting Irish.

But watching Lin over the past couple of weeks, it’s become clear there’s only one cinematic figure to whom he should be compared: Neo from “The Matrix.”

PHOTOS: Absolute Lin-sanity!

Lin has felt it his entire life, this sense that there’s something wrong with the world. He didn’t know what it is, but it was there, like a splinter in his mind.  He just couldn’t do anything about it, relegated, as he was, to the drudgery of a banal and unrewarding existence (a place with the Golden State Warriors).

Then a man, a Morpheus, came along. Mike D’Antoni didn’t care what those robots around the league wanted him to believe.  He only saw Lin’s talent, his goodness. So he anointed him a savior. The oracle, Clyde Frazier, did too.

Lin swallowed what D’Antoni fed him. He began to believe, and he began to evolve. He fought off opponents, opponents who were bigger, stronger, swifter.  Lin battled to overcome an unfeeling system that seemed to exist only to keep him and his kind down, fighting the skeptical coaches who kept popping back up again every time he thought he’d vanquished them. Most of the people in this matrix weren't ready to be unplugged; inured and dependent on the system, they only fought to protect it. So Lin fought harder.

Lin found allies. Landry Fields was a crucial Link, lending his unconditional support (or at least a couch). David Lee was rock solid, a Tank. And Amar’e Stoudemire, at first cautious, soon came to complete the Trinity. These men were Lin's saviors, his own personal Jesus Christs.

A Sports Illustrated writer once said that Lin has shown “seeds of self-doubt.” Don’t worry, Jeremy, Neo had them too; he was reluctant to believe that he was the One.  You have to let it all go, Jeremy. Fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind.  Because fate is a powerful animal. It picks the special ones no matter their confidence level. And once it does, you can’t kill them with bullets, just like you can’t double-team destiny.

RELATED:

Jeremy Lin scores for TV, Twitter and the Knicks

Jeremy Lin's legend continues to grow

Linsanity: Jeremy Lin by the numbers

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: (left) Jeremy Lin of the Knicks. Credit: Chris Chambers/Getty Images. (right) Keanu Reeves as Neo in "The Matrix." Credit: Warner Bros.


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