It’s been five long years since Shaquille O’Neal made an appearance in a movie, and even then, it was just a cameo in “Scary Movie 4,” which somehow exists. That’s half a decade of no Shaq on the big screen, which is five years too long for all of our liking. We need Shaquille O’Neal in the movie industry like we need oxygen.

Lucky for us, the Big Retired is making his way back to the silver screen. Only this time, he’s on the other side of the camera. From TMZ:

Shaquille O’Neal is giving the movie biz another shot — yes, even after “Kazaam” and “Steel” — and this time he wants to be a director!

Shaq is about to complete the Filmmaking Conservatory at the New York Film Academys branch at Universal Studios Hollywood. Shaq’s been very hands-on during directing and cinematography classes — walking his crew through stunts … and shooting on the studio’s famous back lot.

True or False: This is the best news of 2011.

Answer: False. It is the best news of our lifetime.

After years and years of waiting, Shaquille O’Neal is going to be doing movie stuff again. No offense to Shaq, but he’s probably not going to be the next Martin Scorcese. He probably won’t even be the next Kevin Scorcese, who is Martin’s way less famous brother who is only known for directing surrealist documentaries about bowties. (Come to think of it, Shaq will probably nickname himself Martin Shaqcese.) Directing movies is a hard thing to pick up at age 39, which means we’ll all finally get to refresh our “Kazaam” and “Steel” jokes whenever his first film comes out.

Finally, we’ll be able to buy our sisters new gag gifts because they were in Shaq’s fan club when they were kids. Finally, we’ll get to hear the not-at-all-autobiographical story of a 7-foot-1 giant who learns to love his height and becomes the world’s most famous basketball volleyball player (this is a work of total and complete fiction). As far as I can see, there is nothing bad about this.

Of course, when Shaq inevitably decides to remake 1984′s “Conan the Destroyer” with himself in the Wilt Chamberlain role, that’ll change. That’s a classic that should be left alone, even if Shaq seems to want to erase any and all memories of the Stilt. Until then though, let’s rejoice because movies just got a whole lot Shaqier. Today is a good day.

(via Videogum)