Jordan, Not Rodman, Was First Pick for N. Korea

Filming documentary like being on Truman Show: narrator
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2013 4:34 AM CDT
Jordan, Not Rodman, Was First Pick for N. Korea
In this Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan looks on after practice.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

With his bizarre reputation, Dennis Rodman may have seemed the perfect candidate to visit a country that recently claimed the discovery of a unicorn hideout—but he wasn't the first choice for the HBO team that pushed the visit, the New York Times reports. The makers of Vice were hoping for Michael Jordan, they said yesterday at a screening. "Jordan wasn’t interested," said Shane Smith, head of HBO partner Vice Media Group. The Kims are major Jordan fans, but Kim Jong Un was spotted wearing a Dennis Rodman shirt recently, prompting the latter player's selection. "It fit right into our wheelhouse, because it’s absurd," Smith said.

The upcoming finale of Vice, set for June 14, shows Rodman and three Harlem Globetrotters visiting with North Korean officials and children. During their trip, they visited a supermarket at which they were the only customers. College students used computers with the Google homepage displayed—but they weren't using it to search. "I felt like we were walking through a real-live Truman Show,'" says finale narrator Ryan Duffy. The crew hadn't expected to meet with Kim himself, the AP reports; he just turned up at a basketball game. (More Michael Jordan stories.)

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