Steven Soderbergh’s latest film looks like it has the attitude of Dwayne Johnson’s HBO show “Ballers” and the polish of the Brad Pitt film “Moneyball.”
In “High Flying Bird,” Soderbergh directs André Holland and a stellar cast in a drama about a sports agent during a pro basketball lockout. Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar for his work on “Moonlight,” wrote the screenplay for the film that also stars Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Duke. And from the way Holland talks, you can sense the style and creativity that Soderbergh was drawn to with this story.
“You think these fools, these rich white dudes gonna let the sexiest sport fall by the wayside,” Holland’s agent character says to one of his star clients. “Football is fun, but it don’t sell sneakers. To move merch and to inspire rap lyrics, they need your services.”
“High Flying Bird” will also feature appearances from NBA athletes Reggie Jackson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Donovan Mitchell, and you’ll notice Fox Sports’ pundit Skip Bayless pop up in this first trailer as well.
Soderbergh’s film will make its premiere later this month as one of the highlights of the Slamdance Film Festival going on in Park City opposite Sundance, and it will then open on Netflix on Feb. 8.
Watch the first trailer above, and read the full synopsis below:
In the midst of a pro basketball lockout, sports agent Ray Burke (André Holland) finds himself caught in the face-off between the league and the players. His career is on the line, but Ray is playing for higher stakes. With only 72 hours to pull off a daring plan, he outmaneuvers all the power-players as he uncovers a loophole that could change the game forever. The outcome raises questions of who owns the game – and who ought to.