New York Magazine is reporting that the NFL is considering endorsing and possibly investing league money in Draft Day, an upcoming feature film starring Kevin Costner as a fictional general manager of the Buffalo Bills.
According to the magazine, "it follows the GM as he parlays the first NFL draft pick (granted to the previous season's worst team) into a series of trades that burnishes the team's lackluster roster. Along the way, he must deal with his own family baggage as well as some surprising personal and romantic developments."
"We are working with the producers of 'Draft Day' and reviewing the script," said NFL Spokeswoman Joanna Hunter in an e-mail to WGRZ-TV. "This film (& script) is still in its early stages and is one of many projects we are exploring...We are approached weekly with movie and tv scripts. We review them carefully to ensure they are in line with the NFL brand."
However, Hunter said the league is not backing the film financially.
"We are not investing in it monetarily," she said.
While the character in the screenplay may be a lot more glamorous than the real-life man in the job, 72-year-old Buddy Nix (pictured), the NFL clearly buys the premise enough to be considering involvement.
You'd have to go back to the 2006 film Invincible, which starred Mark Wahlberg as former Philadelphia Eagles player Vince Papale, to find a pro football based movie that was given the NFL's blessing (which comes with use of official team names, logos, etc.).
The league has been stubborn to grant such permission to any original content that could portray the league in a bad light, famously denying Oliver Stone's request to use team names and likenesses in 1999's Any Given Sunday.
This may explain why there has been such a lack of films made about pro football in the past decade. Since 2002, there were multiple major studio movies made about football on the high school (Friday Night Lights, The Blind Side), college (We Are Marshall, The Express) and even penitentiary levels (The Longest Yard, Gridiron Gang), yet there's been only one about the NFL.
A source tells Two On Your Side that the producers of Draft Day have already been in contact with the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, and in fact have been talking with that office for months.
However, when asked, the director of the film commission, Tim Clark, politely declined any comment regarding the film.
It will be interesting to see if Costner's character has to come up with an excuse for his team's defense giving up 97 points in two games while getting underwhelming effort from a player he signed to a six-year, $100 million contract in the offseason. Will he be forced to explain handing a six-year, $59 million extension to a career backup quarterback after hardly a season of work with the team?
Copyright Gannett 2012