EXCLUSIVE: Producer Andre Gaines announced today that Qasim Basir will be directing the biopic of famed NFL long shot Andrew Hawkins currently titled Hawk. Gaines will produce for Curated By Media, and Hawkins will also serve as an EP of the film. Cameras roll this summer.
Hawk follows the true story of supreme underdog Hawkins, who gained entry into the NFL after faking his height, weight and social status to earn a multimillion-dollar contract with the Cleveland Browns. Hawkins took a unique path to success. After building a mediocre football resume in college and standing only 5’7, Hawkins set out on an improbable, obstacle-ridden three year odyssey that included adding clay to heals to increase his height, adding weights to his pockets to increase his weight, and pretending to be his own agent on phone calls and emails to get admitted to tryouts – all eventually leading him to stardom in the NFL.
Gaines considered Hawkins’ story to be the epitome of perseverance, and reached out to Basir to direct. Basir, who coincidentally has football roots, joined the project after hearing Hawkins’ incredible story.
“Andrew’s story is one of the most inspiring true stories I’ve ever heard,” Basir said. “As a former college football player myself, who also tried out for the NFL, it resonated with me deeply. My entire identity was tied to my ability as an athlete and when that changed, it was tough trying to figure out my new focus.”
Basir said that thousands of former players go through that same struggle every year after final games or tryouts. Hawkins, who fought for years to break into the NFL, agrees.
“Qasim knows my story because he’s lived it,” said Hawkins. “The chances of finding a director who is not only a gifted storyteller, but has almost identical experiences as me are a million to one. I feel like its fate.”
“To tell a story about finding your voice, and about the incredible power of hard work and dedication towards something you truly believe in spoke volumes to me, and I know audiences will feel the same,” said Gaines.
Gaines tapped writer Krystin Ver Linden to write the screenplay. Ver Linden’s screenplay Ride recently made the 2018 Black List and her script Alice was picked up by Imperative Entertainment.
Basir’s credits include the award-winning A Boy. A Girl. A Dream., starring Meagan Good and Omari Hardwick, and multi award-winning features Destined and Mooz-Lum.
Gaines is producing the upcoming series Black Samurai, action remake Fear Is the Key for Studiocanal, and sci-fi thriller Timecrimes written by Steve Zaillian.
Gaines is repped by ICM Partners, and Curated By Media is represented by Todd Rubenstein of Morris Yorn. Basir is repped by ICM Partners, Buffalo 8 and Marios Rush of Marks Law Group. Hawkins is represented by Octagon. Ver Linden is repped by Verve, Russell Hollander at Fourth Wall and Stone Genow.