WWE is expected to announce Monday that they are working with both HBO Sports and the Bill Simmons Media Group on a documentary about the life of Andre the Giant.
Simmons is a lifelong fan who has always wanted to do such a project. The documentary would air on HBO who Simmons has a deal with.
This would mark the first time that WWE has ever worked on a joint project with HBO Sports and, in a sense, is a major breakthrough for the company since HBO is considered a prestige network.
In the past, A&E has done a documentary on the life of Andre, and there have been a couple of graphic novels on him as well.
It will be interesting to see how an HBO documentary will handle his size. While the legend was that he stood 7’4″, the last time he was actually measured while working in England in 1971 at the age of 24, he was measured at 208 centimeters, which is about 6’9″ 3/4.
Before coming to the North America, recruited by Frank Valois and Edouard Carpentier to come to Montreal and also by Verne Gagne, who saw him performing in Japan, he was usually billed at 6-foot-11 and 340 pounds in those younger athletic days. While in North America, he was billed mostly as being 7’4″ and sometimes 7’5″ and anywhere from 424 to 500+ pounds.
Andre Roussimoff was the biggest touring attraction in pro wrestling during the 70s, wrestling all over the world in every promotion, booked by Vince McMahon Sr. He was a babyface in most places, but was a super strong heel in Japan where he regularly feuded with Antonio Inoki. He later turned heel in the then-WWF in 1987 for two legendary matches with Hulk Hogan, as well as a few others during that run. The Wrestlemania III match against Hogan is arguably the most famous match ever held in the U.S.