EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off signing a first-look deal with Sony Pictures TV last month, Anthony Hemingway is getting on the feature field with Amazon Studios and some of the greatest NFL players ever to tackle college football.
The Emmy-winning American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson and Red Tails director has teamed with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard to develop Work Horses for the House of Bezos.
Penned by Matthew King, the Hemingway-helmed film will look at the high-stakes and no-pay world of the gridiron battles played out at America’s top colleges. It will also explore the ingrained system that profits off players who struggle to make ends meet off the field.
Two-time NFL MVP Rodgers and now-ESPN analyst Howard will executive produce with Ryan Rottman. Hemingway will produce with ex-NFL and former LSU receiver Abram Booty and Nate Raabe.
“It speaks to the rigors of college athletics and the pressures and difficulties these young men face,” The Wire and Underground alum Hemingway told Deadline of the project. “I’m extremely excited to delve into this world of class, power and justice with ex-journalist Matt King as our writer.”
“It is my hope that Work Horses will help shed more light on a topic I’ve been addressing on television for a dozen years,” added College Football Hall of Famer Howard. “I want to continue to be a voice for the players and fight for systemic changes.”
With Amazon already showing NFL games during the week and having streamed several football documentaries, the Work Horses project represents another move by the Jennifer Salke-run streaming service for distinctly wide appeal in its offerings. Beyond Game of Thrones and people with capes in tights, few things entice and entertain America as much as football, as last night’s Thursday Night Football ratings revealed.
King’s spec script Boomtown, about the big money and big risks in North Dakota oil boom country, was picked up by Focus Features in 2015. The former Village Voice contributor is currently working on the music-based Idol, which has Hailee Steinfeld attached to star and produce and Netflix looks to be on board with.
Howard and Rodgers are repped by CAA. Hemingway is repped by WME and attorney Tom Hoberman. King is repped by Verve, manager Bob Bookman and McKuin Frankel.