When Draft Day hit theaters on April 11, it didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, earning under $10 million in its opening weekend. But the Kevin Costner starrer can take pride in one thing: When it comes to sports movies, football films are the all-time box office champs. READ FULL STORY
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In early 2010, Rajiv Joseph (above left) and Scott Rothman (right) had never before written a script together, nor had either ever had a screenplay produced. But what the friends, who both graduated with dramatic writing MFAs from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, had done was watch a ton of football. It was fitting, then, that just as Joseph’s career as a writer was taking off thanks to the success of his 2009 play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a random comment from a surprising NFL draft fan would inspire the two writers to dig in on the project that would eventually, after the dread of turnaround and the euphoria of The Black List, become Draft Day.
Prior to the movie’s April 11 release, Joseph and Rothman described to EW the marathon of anxiety and excitement they endured while watching the movie slowly come to life. READ FULL STORY
Judging from the massive television audiences that tune in for college and NFL football, you might think that football movies would be an easy sell at the American box office. They’re not — and making matters worse, fans who pay to see football in the theater often have to settle for fictional teams, like the Miami Sharks and the North Dallas Bulls, because the NFL doesn’t often play ball with Hollywood.
So give Draft Day credit. It not only got league permission — with sports all-star Kevin Costner playing the embattled general-manager of the downtrodden Cleveland Browns — but the NFL endorsed the film wholeheartedly, with game footage, access, and even a cameo from its commissioner. This is a total NFL joint, and it looks as slick as a Steve Sabol production. READ FULL STORY
The Cleveland Browns have never reached the Super Bowl, but they’ll pop up on television this Sunday during the commercial teaser for Draft Day, the Kevin Costner movie that hopes to be football’s version of Moneyball. The sports-movie icon plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the embattled general manager of the mediocre Browns, who have an opportunity to trade up for the No. 1 pick.
Jennifer Garner plays the team’s salary-cap guru — and Sonny’s girlfriend — Denis Leary is a coach somewhat modeled after Barry Switzer, and Frank Langella is the team’s spotlight-hungry owner. Ivan Reitman directed the movie from a Black List script written by Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph.
The movies arrives in theaters April 11. Watch the Super Bowl clip below: READ FULL STORY
In Draft Day, Kevin Costner is the G.M. of the Cleveland Browns, a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl in a town that hasn’t won a major sports championship since 1964. He’s got a passionate fan base that is counting on him to turn around the team’s fortunes, a billionaire owner (Frank Langella) who wants to make a big splash at the NFL Draft, and an arrogant coach (Denis Leary) who thinks he can “shop for the groceries” better than his nominal boss. But Costner’s Sonny Weaver is a Moneyball type — “You see things other people don’t see,” says Jennifer Garner — and he’s about to use all his Jedi mind tricks of negotiation to rebuild the team in his image.
The real star of the trailer, though, and presumably the film, is the NFL. From the ESPN Draft Day television crew to commissioner Roger Goodell to the licensed footage of hard-hitting gridiron action, director Ivan Reitman clearly won over the league, a nice get that spares viewers phony teams and old footage of USFL games. The Cleveland Browns lend this movie, based on a Black List script from Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, legitimacy. As does Costner in a sports movie, where we seem to love him best. Watch it below:
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“With the first pick in the NFL Draft…”
Millions of football fans tuned in to ESPN last night for the sport’s equivalent of Christmas morning. After months of anticipation and analysis, fans finally got to see which collegiate superstars will be wearing their favorite teams’ jersey next season. As each of the 32 teams are on a ticking clock, their coaches and general managers agonize over their options while the players wait helplessly to be told where their professional lives will begin. It’s a tense and exciting annual ritual that director Ivan Reitman is bringing to the big screen with Draft Day, which will star Kevin Costner as the embattled GM of the Cleveland Browns. (Is there any other kind?) The director of such hits as Ghostbusters and Dave brought his cameras to a mobbed Radio City Music Hall yesterday to take advantage of the NFL’s stagecraft and the buzzing atmosphere that can only be captured in a theater full of face-painting fanatics. “Our responsibility is not to get in the NFL’s way,” Reitman says, “but at the same time, be able to capture the reality, the energy, and in particular the emotions that come from the draft. Because no one’s told that story, the story of the remarkable effect that the draft has on people’s lives.”
Set within the confines of a single day, Draft Day tells the story of Sonny Weaver (Costner), who’s in the midst of one of the most complicated and stressful days of his life as he positions the long-suffering Browns — who’ve never reached the Super Bowl — to trade up for the draft’s No. 1 pick. On the other side of the dramedy are three highly regarded college prospects who are waiting for their professional careers to begin. One of them is portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, currently seen onscreen playing Jackie Robinson in the baseball movie, 42. “It’s a very tough role that he plays,” says Reitman. “Totally different than he is in 42 — that’s all I’ll say. READ FULL STORY
• Has Woody Allen found a new muse? Emma Stone is in talks to appear in his next film that will reportedly shoot in the south of France. The Amazing Spider-Man actress has a number of enviable projects coming up, including a film for Cameron Crowe, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, of course the Spider-Man sequel. With her quick delivery and deft comedic timing, Stone seems a natural fit for an Allen film. Thankfully, Allen has been taking himself out of the leading romantic man equation in his more recent projects. Now we’d just like to know who her co-stars might be, the plot, the title of the film, and how we can score a set visit. [Deadline]
• Armie Hammer can’t get enough of classic television remakes. The Lone Ranger star is set to join Tom Cruise in the Guy Ritchie-directed update to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Social Network actor will play the role originated by fellow blondie David McCallum. In addition to his role in The Lone Ranger (in theaters July 3), Hammer is also about to start work on the thriller By Virtue Fall with Kerry Washington and Connie Britton. [Deadline]
• Cameron Diaz is in early talks to reunite with her Bad Teacher team, including co-star Jason Segel and director Jake Kasdan (New Girl, Orange County) for the Sony Pictures comedy Sex Tape. The story is about a married couple who makes a sex tape that goes missing by the morning. The Back-Up Plan scribe Kate Angelo wrote the script. [The Wrap]
• Will Smith is making moves. First news broke that he was in final talks to star in Focus from the directors of Crazy Stupid Love, then After Earth got an earlier release date, and now he may be ready to line up a few more projects. Deadline reports that Smith is hoping that Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond) might direct him in American Can, the true story of a Gulf War veteran who ends up helping a group of seniors stranded in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He’s also considering the thriller The Accountant about a government bureaucrat who doubles as an assassin. [Deadline]
Casting Net: Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg pic rounds out cast; Plus, Will Ferrell and Jack Black, more
• For some directors, the more absurd the log line, the better the movie. David Cronenberg’s (Videodrome) next film, which will reunite him with his Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson, is described as a ghost story that also serves as a withering critique of the fame and celebrity-obsessed culture in Los Angeles. Called Maps to the Stars, Julianne Moore and John Cusack have just signed on to join the film as well. Moore can be seen in a number of big films in the next year including the Carrie remake, Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, and The Seventh Son. [Deadline]
• What started as a Wall Street Journal article (published just recently on January 28) may now be a movie starring comedic powerhouses Jack Black and Will Ferrell, who are both currently attached to New Line Cinema’s Tag Brothers about a bunch of adults who never called an end to their childhood game of tag. The report says that Ferrell and Black’s involvement will be dependent on the screenplay which is currently being written by Mark Steilen, who served as a second unit director on The Three Stooges and Hall Pass, and wrote and directed 1999’s The Settlement. If Tag Brothers ends up going through, maybe Ferrell will have the opportunity to avenge Baxter. [The Wrap]
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