Stronger helmer David Gordon Green is negotiating to direct a new film for Universal Pictures based on Friday Night Lights, the 2004 film based on Buzz Bissinger non-fiction book that captured the glory, heart, sweat, heartbreak and pressure that goes into small-town America’s obsession with high school football each fall Friday night.
Brian Grazer will produce for Imagine Entertainment, as he did on the original film. Hacksaw Ridge scribe Robert Schenkkan penned the new installment.
The book formed the basis for that terrific Peter Berg-directed 2004 Universal film that starred Billy Bob Thornton as coach of the Permian High Panthers, which spawned an arguably better Emmy-winning NBC series that ran from 2006-2011. That series starred Kyle Chandler as the head coach of the Dillon High Panthers from the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. Along with an avalanche of accolades, that series launched careers that include Michael B. Jordan, Taylor Kitsch, Connie Britton, Jesse Plemons and numerous others.
These are lofty standards for Green to live up to, but no different than what high school teams with feverish fan bases in states like Texas do each season as kids graduate and rosters turn over.
EVP Production Jon Mone and creative executive Lexi Barta will oversee production for Universal. Tyler Mitchell is overseeing for Imagine.
Schenkkan, who adapted his LBJ play All the Way into an Emmy-nominated HBO movie, recently wrote Union for Amazon with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to star.
Green is represented by CAA.