At the height of the global pandemic in 2020, there was one saving grace: The Last Dance. Suddenly, there was salvation to be found in being confined to your household and as we collectively sank deeper into our home couches, we turned to the sporting documentary that proved more captivating than a scripted drama. Across ten episodes, the series covered every aspect of legendary NBA star Michael Jordan, showing a rare glimpse into his training, incredible work ethic, and personal life within the context of the 1997-98 season which happened to mark his last with the Bulls. The 500 hours of unseen footage may have touted Jordan as the star, but for most viewers, it was Dennis Rodman who emerged as not simply a fan favourite, but a character we wanted to know more about. And when Rodman disappeared with flame Carmen Electra to Las Vegas, well, that was most captivating of all.
Now, Rodman’s infamous 48-hour vacation to Las Vegas in the midst of the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 season is set to receive the feature film treatment, being turned into a film titled 48 Hours in Vegas. Covered in episodes three and four of The Last Dance, the incident spoke volumes of Rodman’s wild personal life, but also revealed much of the team dynamic. As the documentary explained, Rodman was granted respite when he was under-performing mid-way through the season by coach Phil Jackson. But when he didn’t return at the prescribed time, Jackson and Michael Jordan had to then retrieve him, leading to memorable scenes that included Electra hiding under a blanket behind a couch in their hotel suite.
The new film is set to be executive produced by Rodman himself, and as viewers might expect, we’re sure that it will take some creative license with the actual story. Rolling Stone reports that it will centre around Rodman’s adventures in Sin City alongside his assistant, GM, and their unlikely friendship. The press release indicates that rather than be set in the middle of the season, the film will instead take place in the middle of the 1998 NBA Finals, which saw the Bulls on the cusp of securing their second championship three-peat and cementing their place as one of the greatest teams ever in the NBA.
The film is being written by Jordan VanDina, while Phil Lord and Christopher Miller serve as producers. In a statement from Lord and Miller, the pair wrote: “Dennis refused to follow the herd. 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 hijinks, 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.”
As per Nathan Kahane of Lionsgate: “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. 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. You think you know anything about ‘The Worm’? Just you wait!”