Wesley to star as Chamberlain in film
- Jul. 19, 2012
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Kansas men’s basketball junior Justin Wesley will portray former Kansas basketball star Wilt Chamberlain in the upcoming locally produced film, “Jayhawkers,” KU Athletics announced on July 18.
Kansas alum Kip Niven joins Wesley in the film, playing legendary Kansas coach Forrest “Phog” Allen. Niven, an experienced character actor, has had roles in films such as “Magnum Force,” “Earthquake,” and “The Only Good Indian,”
“They told me it (the shoot) should take four or five weeks and they told me it may take five or eight takes of the same scene,” Wesley said in a press release. “It will be pretty time consuming but it should be a lot of fun.”
The story, written by KU Assistant Professor of Film Kevin Willmott and Lawre
nce Producer Scott Richardson, centers on the relationship between Allen and Chamberlain as Allen recruits Chamberlain to Kansas and the center becomes one of the most dominant players in Jayhawk history.
“I have watched a couple of interviews of Wilt and have seen some highlights of his game,” Wesley said in a press release. “I’ve asked some people around about his mannerisms or what he did when he played. I’ve picked up a couple of things but I won’t reveal those yet.”
Actor Blake Robinson, who has had roles in television’s “Oz” and “The Office”, will play Kansas coach Dick Harp. Under the direction of Harp, Chamberlain led the 1957 Jayhawks to the National Championship game, where they lost in triple overtime.
Filming starts Aug. 15 in Lawrence, the day after the basketball team returns from it’s trip to Europe.
“It’s an honor to be portraying one of the best players of all time, not only in Kansas history but in basketball history,” Wesley said in a press release. “This is going to be a great experience and a once-in-a-lifetime deal and I’m happy to be doing it.”