The Basketball Star (Johnsonverse)

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The Basketball Star movie poster.png
Genre: Action
Photography: Color
Running Time: 110 minutes
Release Date: December 9, 2018 (Hollywood)
December 17, 2018 (worldwide)
Production Companies: Johnson Studios
Timothy Hill Productions
Distributed by: Johnson Studios
Directed by: Timothy Hill
Written by: Timothy Hill
Tim Johnson
Produced by: Tim Johnson
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Rebecca Ferguson
Gary Nelson
Ray Liotta
Mary Steenburgen
Phil Hartman
Jenny Smith
Mike Myers
Vanessa Parsons
Alicia Helbert
Language: English
Country: United States
Photography: Color
Budget: $200 million (estimated)
Box office: $500 million

The Basketball Star is a 2018 American sports action drama film released by Johnson Studios, produced by Tim Johnson and directed by Timothy Hill from a script written by Johnson and Hill. It stars Rebecca Ferguson, Gary Nelson, Ray Liotta, Mary Steenburgen, Phil Hartman, Jenny Smith, Mike Myers, Vanessa Parsons, and Alicia Helbert, and follows aspiring basketball player Katie Foss, who joins the DeLeon Lady Dragons.

The film premiered in Hollywood on December 9, 2018, and had its worldwide debut eight days later. Critics praised it for its acting, especially from Ferguson and Nelson, its action sequences, and the music score. It grossed over $500 million at the box office against a $200 million budget.


The prologue takes place in 2010. Katelyn "Katie" Foss (Rebecca Ferguson; young version played by Carrie Nelson) is a cocky aspiring basketball player in the town of DeLeon, Utah, living with her parents, former basketball player Sonny (Ray Liotta) and overprotective country star Franny (Mary Steenburgen). Her best friends are Wendy James (Jenny Smith; young version played by Adrianne Nelson) and her brother Eddie Foss (Gary Nelson; young version played by his son Hayden Nelson). Katie, Wendy, and Eddie play basketball with their friends in an abandoned warehouse next to the Dairy Queen.

In the present day (2018), Katie, now 20, is still living with her parents, and is still best friends with Wendy. She works part-time at a fast-food restaurant, while in her second year at DeLeon College. Her brother Eddie is now the owner of an antique store. One day, Wendy and Katie decide to play basketball, in an alleyway between two buildings. Just then, they are noticed by the coach of the DeLeon Lady Dragons, Sharon Boyle (Vanessa Parsons). Boyle asks them if they want to join the team, which Katie and Wendy accept.

Three days later, Katie resigns from her job, and begins training for her first game of the season. She and Wendy run along a sidewalk in Deleon College's park for several minutes at a time, practice basketball games in the college's gym, and go on a diet. Meanwhile, Boyle announces that Katie and Wendy are the Lady Dragons' newest players in a press conference.

On their first game, Katie and Wendy win the game for the Dragons. They celebrate their victory by ordering pizza from Pizza Shack, and prepare for the next game.





Development for Katie began in 2014 when Timothy Hill wrote on a chalkboard "Rebecca Ferguson Plays Basketball" in a meeting with Tim Johnson.



Principal photography took place from March 24 to August 30, 2017, at the Johnson Studios lot in San Jose, CA, with reshoots taking place from January 20 to February 1, 2018. The basketball scenes were filmed at Haas Pavilion at the University of California in Berkeley, CA.


The film is renowned for its quick cuts in its basketball sequences.


The music score was composed by Hans Zimmer. Hill requested to make the score feel "intense and inspiring at the same time".


Home media

The film was released on home video on June 28, 2019.


Box office

Critical response


The film won