Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard are joining forces.
No, it’s not in Denver or Orlando. New York fans can dream, but it’s not happening in Madison Square Garden … at least not yet. And don’t even think it’s South Beach.
Melo and Superman are taking their talents to China. Their cinematic talents, that is, in what’s being billed as the first NBA-themed motion picture produced outside of North America.
The two basketball stars are hoping to create some magic on the silver screen in Amazing. In this case, Amazing happens in Beijing, Shanghai and New York — the three locations for the movie, which began filming last week.
The flick’s squad is fleshed out by top actors from Asia and award-winning Chinese director Hu Xuehua. The cast includes Huang Xiaoming, one of the top actors in China; Kim A Joong, a well-known South Korean actress and model; and Eric Mabius, an American of Ugly Betty fame.
But what’s piqued Hang Time’s interest is the casting of Anthony and Howard, whose jerseys are among the most popular in China. We’ll see where their popularity lies after their acting chops are dissected. If these budding thespians think the sports media is tough, wait until film critics get a hold of them.
It’s probably a safe bet Melo and Dwight are going to be playing a lot of ball in this contribution to Western-Eastern relations. No word on the film’s budget, but let’s hope they set aside serious cash for special effects. It’ll take quite a bit of CGI trickery to make it look like Howard can shoot free throws.
Filming continues through November with the release slated for next summer. For those in the mood for an NBA-themed movie now, here’s a list: Semi-Pro, Just Wright, He Got Game, Eddie, Space Jam and Forget Paris. If it’s just basketball you want, try Hoosiers, Glory Road, White Men Can’t Jump and Blue Chips.
As for the NBA and China, the Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets return for the fifth set of preseason games there in October as part of NBA China Games 2010.