EXCLUSIVE: The always unpredictable Dennis Rodman gets emotional explaining his relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un — and the death threats he’s gotten as a result — in a new film premiering next week at the Slamdance Film Festival.
The timing couldn’t be better for director Colin Offland and writer Matt Baker, who world-premiere their documentary Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang In Pyongyang in Park City just months after Sony Pictures was cyberattacked over The Interview’s depiction of Supreme Leader Kim.
Unlike Vice’s startling chronicle of Rodman’s 2013 tour of North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters, Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang In Pyongyang zeroes in on the former NBA star himself as he returns with a team of ex-pros to the DPRK to organize a historic U.S.-North Korea basketball game in honor of his buddy Kim’s birthday. Shortly after returning from that controversial 2014 trip, Rodman checked into rehab and blamed a meltdown on CNN on alcohol.
In Deadline’s exclusive clip above, Rodman claims he wasn’t aware of some of the atrocities Kim Jong-un, aka The Marshal, committed against his own people. He weeps over the haters and critics who question his hoops diplomacy and closeness to the dictator and says, “I’m not Martin Luther King. … If someone wanted to shoot me, please, do it today.” Rodman also claims he’s not in a position to ask for the release of American prisoner Kenneth Bae, although months later he tweeted a plea for Kim to “do me a solid and let Kenneth Bae loose.”
Rodman is not scheduled to be in Park City, nor is he doing press ahead of the film’s debut. I hear that’s likely to change once the film lands a theatrical release. Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang In Pyongyang premieres January 25 at the Slamdance Film Festival, where CAA is repping sales.