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16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time

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Chris Sayer
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Big things are happening in Hollywood right now. Really, really big things. 

News that a biopic about 7ft 4in, 500lb wrestling legend André the Giant is to move into production hit us like one huge beautiful body slam earlier this week.

The “Eighth Wonder of the World”, who died 23 years ago from heart failure, without doubt led one heck of a life in the 46 years he stomped around the Earth. When we finally get to see his famous frame up on the big screen, we’ll be in for a monumental viewing session: there’ll be his legendary wresting matches against fellow 80s icons. There’ll be his roles in Hollywood movies. There’ll even be boozing sessions on a scale you’d never think humanly possible.

Brilliantly, the film has already been given a full blessing from the Giant’s family. “I’m really excited to watch this story come to life on the big screen,” said Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, André’s daughter. “It’s been a labour of love for everyone involved, and we’re really looking forward to making it available to a larger audience.”

Here are sixteen things that are sure to make it the coolest, biggest biopic ever…

Pic: WWE.com

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time

    André was already 6ft 3in tall by the age of 12

    At that size, André couldn’t even fit onto his school bus. Instead, he got lifts in with his neighbour, who, amazingly, was famous Irish poet Samuel Beckett. The story goes that on their daily journeys, they’d rarely talk about anything but cricket. Nothing compared to the 7ft 4in and 500-plus pounds he eventually grew to. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 1

    André earned the nicknamed “The Biggest Drunk of All Time”

    You think your “mad one” last Saturday was big? It wasn’t. It really wasn’t. André’s fromer wrestling buddy Mike Graham once recounted the big man necking 156 beers in one sitting – a tale later backed up by Dusty Rhodes. André would eventually quit drinking beer, and drop from 560lbs to 470lbs just by cutting it from his diet. He kept on drinking wine though…

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 2

    …and drank 16 bottles of wine before his Royal Rumble against 19 opponents

    When André would inevitably pass out through drunkness, he was so heavy that nobody could move him. There’re a number of stories of this happening in hotels, were the Giant was just left slumped in the lobby to sleep it off. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 3

    Even with that level of booze in him, he’d always be a designated driver

    His brother, Jacques Roussimoff, once said: “It was better to not try to keep up with him, because his friends would end up sick, whereas he would always end up fine. When we would go out, he was always the one taking us home. He was like our chauffeur.” 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 4

    He turned down a career in the NFL to pursue wrestling

    Imagine if he’d actually signed the contract the Washington Redskins offered him. Imagine how many bones he’d have turned to dust. 

    Pic: WWE.com

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 5

    He was the first person ever inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

    And rightly so, after becoming the highest-paid wrestler at the time, and remaining undefeated for 15 years. Unfortunately, Andre only got the honour posthumously, and without any ceremony. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 6

    André once fought a professional boxer in a boxer-vs-wrestler fight

    On the undercard of Muhammad Ali’s 1976 televised fight dubbed ‘The War Of The Worlds’ against Japanese heavyweight wresting champion Antonio Ionki, Andre took on boxer Chuck “The Bayonne Brawler” Wepner in New York. In the third round, Wepner was picked up by The Giant like a sack of sugar and lobbed out of the ring. ““I could’ve knocked him out in the first round, but he kept holding on the ropes,” André said after the fight. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 7

    André pretty much beat Hogan even after losing to him

    André, as we’ve already said, rarely felt the embarrassment of defeat. But on the rare occasion an opponent got the better of him, The Giant had the last laugh. In Wrestlemania III, Hulk Hogan managed to body slam his former pal to leave the ring victorious. He also left with a torn latissimus dorsi, thanks to the incredible weight of his foe.   

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 8

    He was the first wrestler to really break into Hollywood

    Credits include The Princess Bride, The Six Million Dollar Man, Conan The Destroyer, and, er, a Cindi Lauper video. 

    Pic: Everett/REX/Shutterstock

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 9

    He was incredibly polite

    Not only did André insist on paying the bill wherever he went, but he rarely went to the theatre for fear of blocking the view of those behind him. However, the politeness stopped when it came to Hulk Hogan. “I don’t like to speak badly of people,” André once said. “I have grown up thinking and being told that if you cannot say something nice about someone, you should not say anything at all. But I must break that rule in this case because I hate Hulk Hogan very much. He is a big ugly goon and I want to squash his face.” 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 10

    The reason he never got married is the best reason ever

    “I’m not ready [for marriage]. Too many girls want the giant,” he said. Yep, probably the coolest thing ever said. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 11

    André was excused from military service because he was too big

    Put simply, no bunk would house him, no trench would protect him, and no standard issue shoes would fit him. 

     

    Pic: Everett/REX/Shutterstock

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 12

    André had size 20 feet

    Explains the point above, doesn’t it. Doesn't explain why we're using a picture of him riding a red tricycle to illustrate this point, but here we are. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 13

    His fingers were so big you could pass a silver dollar through his rings

    Former pro wrestler Gorilla Monsoon did it himself, and Gorilla Monsoon sounds like a really trustworthy guy. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 14

    His face is a symbol of hope

    That’s his mug staring down at you from all those Obey t-shirts and art pieces made by Shepard Fairey. 

  • 16 reasons the new André the Giant biopic will be the biggest of all time 15

    After being cremated, André's remains weighed 8kg

    Even more impressive than that was his incredible outlook on life and death, which he summed up in an interview with Sports Illustrated: “I have had good fortune. I am grateful for my life. If I were to die tomorrow, I know I have eaten more good food, drunk more beer and fine wine, had more friends and seen more of the world than most men ever will."

    Pic: famoussendings.blogspot.com

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Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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