Fully-grown human Bill Simmons has the fervency of a small child when he really, really wants something (see: his impassioned pleas back in 2009 to become the general manager of the Timberwolves; see also: the Timberwolves bad cop refusal to indulge this). Good cop Disney has now given in to their adorable son's relentless demands, and made him producer on a Deadspin commenter's upcoming movie.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons and his ESPN 30 for 30 producing partner Connor Schell have been added as executive producers on Disney's upcoming film, Million Dollar Arm, which will star Jon Hamm's penis as real-life sports agent J.B. Bernstein. Bernstein who recruited Indian cricket players Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel to be baseball pichers, via creating a sports reality show in India entitled Million Dollar Arm.
Simmons was previously consulting on the film with Schell, the latter of whom is only now producing via ESPN Films. It's not at all common for consultants to worm their way into an executive producer credit on a film: usually you have to have found the story, sold the idea to the studio, and been involved since nascency. However, Simmons' Grantland (a website where he is extremely prolific on his views on television, movies, pop culture, and sometimes sports) is owned by ESPN, which in turn is owned by Disney. While Simmons' duties as a consultant may have made his intel valuable, this is a mega-company that has made 57 sports movies, many of which were hits, including Remember the Titans and Miracle. Factor in that Disney obtained the life rights to the main characters and it seems far more likely that Simmons' desire to constantly make himself a part of the stories upon which he previously reported led to ESPN convincing Disney to give Simmons a producer credit. Disney relented, and has given Simmons the best Christmas gift of all: profit participation, which he wasn't going to get as a consultant.
All that being said, ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries are nothing short of fantastic, and the self-dubbed Sports Guy (who, full disclosure, I once harassed for months to meet when I was at Universal, to discuss all things television production related) does have a certain flair for storytelling that has made his Book of Basketball a favorite read for me, despite his biased views towards the Laker greats. Let's hope that his attention to authenticity and routine flouting of brevity bring us three to four hours of solid outlines of Hamm's ham, unobscured by dhotis, cricket pants, or whatever else they wear in India these days.