EXCLUSIVE: Yellow Bear Films has acquired a script from Adam Perlman (Billions) based on the Sports Illustrated article “This Hockey Mogul Was 17. Got a Problem With That?” which was reported by Jon Wertheim.
The project is being produced by Tom McNulty (Date Night) through his MC² banner. No director is attached yet. It’s being described as Slap Shot meets Superbad.
The story is about the Danbury Trashers, which was considered the most violent team in professional sports. In the mid-2000s, the minor league hockey club accumulated more penalty minutes in one season than any other team before or since, but they also had the best record in the league. At their helm and president/GM of the club was a 17-year-old kid named AJ Galante who was put in charge of the team by his father, the local king of waste management.
It follows Galante from mastering the moneyball of violence to galvanizing a blue-collar town and then the ultimate arrest of his father and the team’s abrupt end.
“It’s truly an honor and flattering when highly regarded writers, producers and film makers are interested in your life. The Trashers weren’t just a hockey team — it became a culture,” said Galante. “To this day the team still remains relevant for so many reasons. I am proud to of been part of a great team who created stuff of legend. I never expected 14 years ago that our minor league hockey team and myself could be subject for a potential movie, however this story deserves to be told.”
Yellow Bear Films is producing and financing the project. Screenwriter Perlman gets exec producer credit. Wertheim, who will get a co-producing credit, is an executive editor with Sports Illustrated and a full-time correspondent for 60 Minutes. His work has appeared in The Best American Sports Writing series five times, and he has written nine books including the New York Times bestsellers Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won and You Can’t Make This Up (with sportscaster Al Michaels).
Perlman is a co-executive producer of Showtime’s Billions. He previously wrote for CBS’ The Good Wife and HBO’s The Newsroom. He also is writing the pilot for Showtime, produced with Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien. On the feature side, Perlman wrote Septillion to One with Graham Sack, which appeared on the 2015 Black List (McNulty is also producing).
Yellow Bear Films is a NY-based production and finance company that was co-founded last year by Andrew Morrison and Matthew Edward Ellison. The company’s most recent projects have been Nathan Silver’s Thirst Street, which was distributed by Samuel Goldwyn, and Silver’s and Jack Dunphy’s Watch Me Drown, currently in post-production.
The Gersh Agency negotiated the deal for SI and reporter Wertheim; Gersh, Brillstein Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum rep both Wertheim and Perlman. McNulty is repped by attorney Jeff Frankel.