Retired basketball hero Shaquille O’Neal is coming to change the game, or in this case, the film industry. Variety confirmed Friday that O’Neal would be making his debut into a film as co-writer and producer on the animated short Headnoise, which will be produced by his company Jersey Legends Productions.
Rafael Jimenez, a veteran animator, directed the short. In addition to co-writing the script with writer Donnie F. Wilson (Tearing Down Cabrini-Green), O’Neal will narrate the short.
The film analyzes the psychological and environmental pressures to achieve success through the eyes of childhood friends Rashaun and Damon, two outstanding inner-city basketball players. Both are NBA prospects, but Rashaun is the more sought-after selection among college recruiters. Rashaun’s secret love, however, is sculpture and while his road to pursue his goal is fraught with structural difficulties, he is determined to be undefeated by his head noise.
“I’m so proud of ‘HeadNoise,’” O’Neal said. “It is my first time writing and producing my own project. I wanted to call attention to what so many people encounter, especially young adults, who deal with anxiety and stress. It was such an honor to create this piece with such a diverse team of people. Everyone should see it.”
Rashaun and Damon will be voiced by Cedric Williams, Jr. and Joshua David King.
Headnoise is presently in its final phase of development.