Former Saturday Night Live funnyman Andy Samberg is set to star in newest attempt to put tennis into the movies. The Home Box Office production, "7 Days in Hell," is a sports mockumentary about a seven day match at Wimbledon. Past Hollywood treatments of tennis have been received with mixed reviews.
Samberg will play a moody champ who takes on a local British prodigy played by Kit Harrington from "Game of Thrones fame. The movie is being written by Murray Miller, a writer and producer from HBO's "Girls." An alum from SNL, Jake Szymanski will direct and Samberg will also co-produce.
Perhaps the most well known movie was the 2004 "Wimbledon" which starred Paul Bettany as a former star who lost his mojo and Kirsten Dunst is an up and coming American player who helps him regain his touch. This story suffered from forced bits of comedy and the tennis matches were especially slow paced and didn't present much tension.
A more over the top comedy from 2009, "Balls Out: The Gary Houseman Story" starring Sean William Scott was at least funnier though a bit gross at times. The actual tennis playing was completely off the wall for the cheap laughs.
The 2012 production of the "Venus and Serena" documentary was well done and the Williams sisters story has some natural drama,but the story did not go deep enough and almost came off like a promotion video.
With Andy Samberg's comedic background, "7 Days in Hell" has potential to be amusing, but will this be just a distraction to the subject of tennis which is a common flaw in previous movies.
There have been many memorable sport movies about football and baseball, but so far, tennis has not received the star treatment. Hopefully Samberg and company can get closer to hitting an "ace" than past attempts.