EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Eckhart will play University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal and Finn Wittrock will play UT football great Freddie Steinmark in My All American, a film that feels like a cross between Brian’s Song and Rudy, the latter of which was written by Angelo Pizzo, who’s making his directorial debut on My All American. Wittrock, coming off Noah and co-starring in the upcoming Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken, plays Steinmark. A scrappy undersized defensive back, Steinmark was a standout player on the national-title-winning 1969 team, before his gridiron career was tragically cut short when he went to the hospital for a bone bruise and learned that he had a cancerous tumor that took his leg and ended his career. The film’s being largely financed by Bud Brigham, a gas and oil industry entrepreneur who is from Austin, where the movie will begin shooting on location next month.
Eckhart plays Royal, who guided the Longhorns to three national titles in his 20-year tenure and never had a losing season. He developed a special bond with Steinmark, whose cancer was discovered just after the team beat the Arkansas Razorbacks to win the title. Steinmark, who made an emotional appearance on crutches when UT played Notre Dame at the Cotton Bowl, coached the team’s freshman defense and became an inspiration to cancer sufferers before the cancer took his life. (more…)