EXCLUSIVE: Michael Chiklis (The Shield) has signed on to star in The Senior, a football drama that Rod Lurie (The Outpost, The Last Castle) is directing from a screenplay by Bob Eisele (The Great Debaters), which is entering production in Texas this fall.
The film is based on the true story of Mike Flynt (Chiklis) who, 37 years ago, was kicked off his collegiate football team for an altercation with another teammate. Now at 59, Mike continues to carry that burden. But when he learns he still has a year of eligibility, he decides to go back to school to get his degree and try out for the team to redeem his past. As he puts on the pads one more time, Mike slowly starts to earn the respect of his much younger teammates, ultimately leading him on a journey to address his masculinity and resolve his generational trauma put upon by his father, while also addressing his strained relationship with his son.
Wayfarer Studios (Disney+’s Clouds) is fully financing the film, with co-founders Justin Baldoni and Steve Sarowitz producing. The project was developed and will be produced by Select Films’ Mark Ciardi, in association with Ten Acre Films’ Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams, who will serve as exec producers. Wayfarer President of Production Andrew Calof will oversee and produce alongside co-COO Manu Gargi.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Mike Flynt’s incredible true story to the big screen. He is the Rudy of the boomer generation and has proven that it’s never too late to chase one’s dreams,” said Baldoni. “I’ve been a fan of Michael Chiklis for years and he is perfect for this role; he’s devoted immense time to study and train to embody Flynt. Michael’s determination and drive paired with Flynt’s real-life journey and Rod Lurie’s masterful direction will bring this much needed and extremely timely story to the screen.”
Chiklis is an Emmy and Golden Globe winner best known for his turn as corrupt LAPD cop Vic Mackey in acclaimed FX drama series, The Shield. The actor will next be seen in Adam McKay’s starry Netflix pic, Don’t Look Up, premiering in December, and the Untitled Lakers miniseries coming to HBO in 2022.
Chiklis has also appeared on the film side in the Fantastic Four films, in which he played Ben Grimm/The Thing, and in titles such as Eagle Eye. Additional TV credits include Paramount+ thriller Coyote, Fox’s Gotham, FX’s American Horror Story, CBS’ Vegas, and ABC’s The Commish.
Chiklis is represented by WME, Management 360 and Neil Meyer of Meyer and Downs. Lurie is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Gang, Tyre, Ramer. Eisele is with Echo Lake Entertainment and attorney Alan Wertheimer.
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