Connor Schell, ESPN Films’ executive producer, often hears from celebrities interested in attaching their names to documentary projects without actually doing the legwork.
Not so for actor Kevin Connolly (“Entourage’’), an avid Islanders fan out of Patchogue-Medford High who wanted to explore the John Spano debacle, in which the man who briefly owned the team in the mid-1990s was exposed by Newsday as a massive fraud.
"He did all the interviews; he legitimately directed the film," Schell said. "He was able, because of who he is and how much he cares about the team and the story, to get things out of people that I don’t think anyone else would have.’’ (That includes an interview with Spano himself.)
The film might premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and certainly will be on ESPN this fall as part of the “30 for 30” series. Technically, ESPN has not announced its existence yet, but Connolly tipped off fans by tweeting about it last summer. Schell elaborated on it for the first time Tuesday.
“He tells a really compelling story about what happened at the time and about the life of the franchise,’’ Schell said. “I think it’s fabulous. It’s an unbelievable story that’s largely forgotten.’’