Football has probably reached the apex of its professional sports dominance in the U.S., so it’s time for an NFL-sanctioned movie! Tony Krantz (The Big Bang) will produce and direct Week 14, a drama said to be in the vein of Crash. The script by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) chronicles “the last three weeks of the NFL’s regular season as seen through the eyes of fictional players, coaches and their significant others.”
Krantz’s production company Flame Ventures will accept studio bids in the coming weeks; sources tell Variety that interest is “already high.” The NFL is protective of its brand, so the material is PG-13 and targeted toward all four quadrants. More after the jump.
The plan is to begin production after the Super Bowl in February. The report does not specify, but that would allow more NFL athletes to make an appearance, or maybe even star à la the Shelton-scripted Blue Chips, which featured Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway in prominent roles. This is Shelton’s ninth sports-related script in his three-decade career, including Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump, and Tin Cup.
The Crash comparison throws me off a bit*, but I am intrigued by the possibilities. I hope the access granted by the NFL is more illuminating than it is bureaucratically restrictive. There is a fascinating movie to be made about the lives of professional football players, and I hope Krantz and Shelton get the chance to make it rather than a big-budget advertisement for the NFL.
*Although I would like to see a movie about the racist undertones of professional sports in America. Anyone want to make that? Anyone?