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Shane Warne’s close friends lash out at Nine’s ‘despicable’ unauthorised biopic about late spin king

Shane Warne’s close friends lash out at Channel Nine’s ‘despicable’ illicit show about the spider king’s life and threaten legal action to have it taken down

  • Shane Warne died suddenly while on holiday in Thailand on March 4
  • Pre-production of Nine’s miniseries began just weeks after his death
  • Warne’s agent James Erskine has threatened legal action against the network
  • In 2017, Seven dropped plans for a miniseries about the late spin king
  • Warne strongly opposed the dramatization of his own life
  • The late Australian legend spent 23 years as a commentator for Nine

Shane Warne’s manager and friends have described an upcoming unauthorized biopic of the late cricket legend’s life as ‘discouraging’ and ‘despicable’, with the former threatening legal action against Channel Nine.

News of Warne’s death while on holiday in Thailand on March 4 shocked Australia and the cricket world as a whole, but pre-production of a miniseries about the spider king’s extraordinary life began within just three weeks of his passing.

The producers have yet to cast the actor who will be tasked with playing Warne, but according to the Herald Sun, they could soon have much more pressing concerns.

Shane Warne died unexpectedly while on holiday in Thailand on March 4

Shane Warne died unexpectedly while on holiday in Thailand on March 4

James Erskine, the champion bowler’s longtime manager, has not ruled out legal action being taken to stop production and said Nine’s behavior was shameful.

“He’s only been dead a few months and if they turn this around and think about something sensational, they should be ashamed of themselves,” he told the newspaper. Herald Sun

“I will write to Peter Costello as he is their chairman and say please explain. […] Why would Nine even go there. It’s a shame and I will certainly make my voice heard.’

Those closest to the late Australian legend told the Herald Sun that plans for a miniseries were “despicable” and “tacky.”

Those closest to the late spider king have slammed an authorized Nine's biopic of his life

Those closest to the late spider king have slammed an authorized Nine’s biopic of his life

Warne (center) worked for the network as a cricket analyst for over 20 years

Warne (center) worked for the network as a cricket analyst for over 20 years

Shortly after Warne’s death, Nine’s head of content Andy Ryan said the miniseries will be “bigger than life, entertaining, confrontational and thought-provoking,” just like “the man himself.”

Ryan added that the biopic, which will air next year, will explore Warne’s impact on people and what made him such a special character loved by so many.

“He was an icon in all cricketing countries, but also around the world. We are going to create a top quality drama with international allure,” he said.

Nine isn’t the first network to consider a dramatization of Warne’s life.

In 2017, Seven shelved plans for a miniseries about Warne's life after some of his other biopics flopped with viewers and critics alike.

In 2017, Seven shelved plans for a miniseries about Warne’s life after some of his other biopics flopped with viewers and critics alike.

“Seven released this project,” a spokesperson for Seven said News Corp at the time.

“We have a number of projects in development and felt that the Warne miniseries was not the right choice for our production and programming schedule at the moment.”

It is noteworthy that News Corp reported at the time that Warne was vehemently opposed to a dramatization of his life, preferring to devote himself to the critically acclaimed Shane documentary released just months before his death.

Warne spent 23 years as an analyst for Nine and reportedly had close ties to former network boss Kerry Packer and former CEO David Gyngell.

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