EXCLUSIVE: Producer Freddy Wexler is developing a feature film based on the true story of Keith Adams—a deaf football coach who last month led an all-deaf football team to the D2 California State Championship—and Adams’ two sons, Kaden and Trevin, who played on the team (Trevin was the starting quarterback). The story was covered by nearly 50 outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, ESPN, Los Angeles Times, Good Morning America, and Telemundo. The production will include support for The California School for the Deaf, Riverside.
Luke Davies will pen the script, which is based on the inspiring true story of Coach Adams, his sons, and the most successful season of their lives. Wexler, DJ Kurs, Eryn Brown of Management 360, and Luke Davies will produce.
Brown and Kurs are co-founders of the 1IN4 Coalition, an advocacy organization which they helped launch earlier this year to tackle issues of employment and representation of disabled people in Hollywood.
“This is a momentous occasion in our community and allows us to bring a unique spin on a familiar genre,” Kurs said. “Keith’s extraordinary story deserves to be told by a first-rate team that will abide by the principles of authentic representation and include Deaf creatives at every stage.”
In his ten years at Deaf West, Kurs has produced multiple theatrical productions that feature American Sign Language and spoken English in a seamless ballet, including the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of Spring Awakening. He and Adams met as undergraduates at Gallaudet.
The underdog story of Coach Adams and the Cubs won hearts all across America, and prompted the LA Times to dub it “The best story in high school sports.” The California School for the Deaf, Riverside is the only deaf high school in its division, and one of only two schools for the deaf in the entire state of California. After seven straight losing seasons—and years of being underestimated and mistreated by other teams—The Cubs won 11 consecutive victories against all hearing teams, winning the division championship and making it to the state championship for the first time in the school’s 68-year history.
“Hollywood has proven its power to change culture and policy through the stories it tells. Freddy, DJ and I believe Keith’s journey with his family and his team will do exactly that. We are honored to be partners in protecting his story and creating many cinematic firsts,” said Eryn Brown on behalf of Entertainment 360.
This project joins a growing slate of film and television projects produced by Wexler, including the previously-announced Soul Superhero, which Wexler is producing with Westbrook Studios and co-writing with Kwame Kwei-Armah. Wexler’s songs have been released by Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Post Malone, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Halsey, Pink, Marshmallow, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Pusha T, Wyclef Jean, Celine Dion, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Zayn Malik, and DNCE, among others. Wexler cowrote the single “Stuck with U” which, performed by Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, broke streaming records and raised over $3.5 million for families of first responders. He is nominated for Album of the Year at the 2022 Grammys for Justin Bieber’s Justice.
Wexler is represented by CAA and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson. Luke Davies is represented by EML Entertainment and attorney Paul Hastings.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.