Hollywood's Oscar Nominees are all Scrambling to Make Movies About the Patriots

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Hollywood ReporterNew England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has been to two Super Bowls. Now, his life story is heading to the big screen.

Daniel Levin, whose Narrative Capital produced Lion, has acquired Butler’s life rights for a biopic titled The Secondary. Levin’s instincts have been sound: He obtained Lion subject Saroo Brierley’s rights after reading about him in Vanity Fair, and now the movie is up for six Oscars. Likewise, he saw promise in the story of an undrafted Butler, who just three years ago was running the fryolator at a Popeyes chicken joint when his agent, Derek Simpson, secured him a tryout with the Patriots. …

Lion and The Secondary are against-all-odds stories of struggle and inspiration,” says Levin.

DeadlineA new book and feature film project about Tom Brady, who has won more Super Bowls than any quarterback in NFL history, is on its way. Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, the writers behind Disney’s The Finest Hours who were nominated for an Oscar for The Fighter, and New York Times bestselling author Casey Sherman are reteaming. Joining up with them is Boston journalist Dave Wedge, who was Sherman’s co-author on Boston Strong. …

The Brady book and film will … follow Brady’s fall from grace and then his triumphant return to lead the Patriots to his fifth world championship. That surprising overtime victory against the Falcons this month cemented Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s legacies as the top quarterback and head coach in NFL history.

You know how everyone’s always complaining that Hollywood is all out of ideas? So we’re constantly getting served up rancid, re-heated leftovers like Ben-Hur remakes, all-chick Ghostbusters and still more Ninja Turtles sequels? Well, leave it to the best and brightest of the film industry to realize the next great movie franchise has been right in front of their faces for 17 years and counting.

This is what the movie-going public has longed for. They’re sick of half baked Kevin James vehicles and Transformers movies that feel like someone’s throwing auto parts at their heads for two hours. They want hope. They want inspiration. They want real slices o’ life about downtrodden nobodies who dreamed of greatness and then went out and achieved it. They want redemption stories about heroes who came from nothing, made it to the top, got dragged down for something they didn’t do and then came back and got vindicated. And the best place to get those is the New England Patriots. They’re the new Oscar bait.

Frankly, I don’t know who they’re going to get to play Brady. Forget your Channing Tatums and Ryan Reynolds. No man can pull off that role. They’ll undoubtedly have to just make him a CGI character like Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. But these people are all Oscar contenders. I’ll live it to them to figure it out.

And while I wouldn’t ever use a moment like this to plug my own project, allow me to plug my own project. The film rights to From Darkness to Dynasty: the First 40 Years of the New England Patriots are open to negotiation. You can’t be doing all these Patriots movies without telling their great origin story.