Will Ferrell Goes 'Semi-Pro'

America loves underdog sports movies starring Will Ferrell (or at least Will Ferrell thinks that America loves underdog sports movies starring Will Ferrell).

After conquering the worlds of soccer ("Kicking & Screaming"), NASCAR ("Talladega Nights") and figure skating ("Blades of Glory"), Ferrell is set to star with Woody Harrelson (another sports movie veteran) in "Semi-Pro," a New Line comedy about the final years of the American Basketball Association.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie focuses on the fictional Jackie Moon, owner-player-coach of the Flint Michigan Tropics as the ABC prepares to close down in the '70s.

In the real world, the ABA was founded in 1967 and went out of business in 1976. The league helped launch the career of players like Julius Erving and Moses Malone and also pioneered basketball innovations like the three-pointer, the slam-dunk competition and, of course, the red-white-and-blue basketball.

Ferrell has been linked to a nebulous ABC pic -- presumably an early version of "Semi-Pro" -- for some time.

The film will be directed by Kent Alterman. Alterman is currently a New Line executive, but will exit that post to make his directing debut.

Ferrell has "Stranger than Fiction" coming out later this fall. Although the "Elf" veteran has circled at least a half-dozen potential projects in recent months (and committed to production duties on several films and television offerings), the trade paper says that "Step Brothers" is next to go in front of the camera.

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