EXCLUSIVE: Robert Duvall and Martin Sheen have joined 12 Mighty Orphans, the drama that stars Luke Wilson as legendary Texas football coach Rusty Russell. Ty Roberts is directing from a script he wrote with Lane Garrison from the acclaimed book by Jim Dent.
At an orphanage perched atop a hill overlooking Fort Worth, Russell turned a scrawny band of 12 underdog castoff orphans into a team of fierce warriors that left their opponents bewildered and battered. In spite of being outweighed by at least thirty pounds per man, the youngsters become one of the toughest football team in Texas. They began with nothing―not even a football―yet Russell’s innovative offense helps lead the orphans to the state playoffs. At a time when America desperately needs fresh hope and big dreams, the Orphans prove that heart can triumph over great obstacles. Vinessa Shaw plays Rusty’s wife Juanita Russell, and Wayne Knight plays Frank Wynn, a man with a politician’s demeanor who runs the day-to-day operations of the orphanage but hides a darker nature.
ICM Partners-repped Sheen is playing Doc Hall – a country doctor who has served the orphans for 30 plus years without ever taking a paycheck and who was responsible for bringing Russell to the orphanage and becomes his assistant football coach. UTA-repped Duvall plays Mason Hawk – a wise free mason and an orphan to boot, who instills wisdom in the Mighty Mites as to what being an orphan truly means.
Pic began production earlier this month in Forth Worth and wraps in time for Thanksgiving. The pic is produced by Michael De Luca, Angelique De Luca, Brinton Bryan, and Houston Hill. Hill acquired the rights through Santa Rita Film Co. and Bryan arranged financing through his Greenbelt Films banner.
If you wondered if Duvall and Sheen ever shared the screen together before, the answer is yes and here is the classic scene: