It's a Wednesday in early September, and LeBron James — newly minted Los Angeles Laker, $1 billion Nike endorsement juggernaut, noted Trump repudiator — is folded into a golf cart whirring across the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. Shouts of "LaaaaaBraaaan" and "Welcome to L.A.!" pierce the air.
Here, where star sightings are routine and treated with studied indifference, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James is a different story. Strangers ask for selfies, tell him how thrilled they are that he's in town and divulge their hopes that he'll revive what was once the NBA's most glamorous franchise.
James, 33, is always polite, doesn't mind the attention, doesn't wish he could disappear into a scrum of extras, even for a spell. "Anonymous? No. That's weird. I'm not an anonymous guy," he says. "You gotta understand, I'm an only child. I like people."
But James isn't on the lot for an athlete meet-and-greet. He's had an office at Warners since 2016, when SpringHill Entertainment, the shingle he started in 2008 with childhood friend Maverick Carter, set up shop in a blue-clad Cape Cod bungalow with a barn-red door in Warner Village, the Potemkin neighborhood that has served as the exterior for such Hollywood creations as Gilmore Girls. James doesn't use his second-floor office all that much. In fact, he's on-site today mostly because he's booked on Ellen, which tapes on the lot, to promote Warners' animated feature Smallfoot, to which he lends his voice.
Typically at this hour, James would be at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, near LAX. He gets to practice an hour and a half early each morning, then hits the basement gym of his Brentwood house in the afternoon. (A casual query as to whether he plans to work out the following day elicits a snort: "That's like asking, 'Am I going to breathe tomorrow?'") Carter, 36, who moved to Los Angeles about three years ago, runs the business day-to-day with SpringHill's eight-person staff.
Still, there's no question that James' move from the Cleveland Cavaliers has amplified his status in the Hollywood firmament. Even at a time when star-fronted production companies are ubiquitous, SpringHill is emerging as a unique force. Since his July 2 announcement that he would play for the Lakers (for four years and $154 million), his company has set up projects with dizzying frequency — on Sept. 13, NBC and The CW both announced scripted series with him. HBO already has several on tap, including Student Athlete, about college players going unpaid while their universities make millions, and a Muhammad Ali documentary directed by Antoine Fuqua. Meanwhile, Netflix is in production on a reboot of the British crime drama Top Boy (with Drake) and the limited series Madam C.J. Walker, starring Octavia Spencer as the real-life daughter of slaves who became the first black female millionaire.
And THR can reveal that Ryan Coogler will produce Warner Bros.' new Space Jam, the long-gestating follow-up to the beloved 1996 Michael Jordan-Bugs Bunny hit. James will play his first starring role in it — he received positive reviews in 2015 for Amy Schumer's Trainwreck — and it will be Coogler's first project since the groundbreaking Black Panther. "[Coogler] gave this generation's kids something I didn't have when I was a kid," says James, "and that's a superhero movie with an African-American cast."
Source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/lebron-james-conquers-los-angeles-hollywood-1145452612