Fresh off the long-delayed release of his crime drama City of Lies, Brad Furman has signed on to write and direct the “Pistol” Pete Maravich biopic that fellow NBA All-Star Steve Nash has been developing for the last six years, Collider has exclusively learned.
Nash is producing the indie feature with his CTRL partner Ezra Holland (Into the Wind) as well as Peter Lawson (Spotlight), Jake Septimus and Emmy-winning filmmaker Brett Rapkin (Spaceman) of Podium Pictures, who first optioned Maravich’s life rights from the basketball great’s estate back in 2015.
At the time, Rapkin had initially planned to write and direct the Pistol Pete movie, though he’ll cede those duties to Furman for the latest incarnation of the project. The aim is to explore the brilliant yet tragic life and career of the NBA Hall of Famer, whose story was told once before in the 1991 indie movie The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend, which was produced shortly after his death in 1988.
“Pistol” Pete Maravich was a brilliant scorer and playmaker who famously played for his own father, Press Maravich, at Louisiana State University, where he broke Oscar Robertson’s all-time scoring record, averaging a staggering 44.2 points a game without the benefit of a three-point line. Maravich finished his college career with 3,667 points — a mark that stands to this day.
During an impressive NBA career marred by injuries and losing seasons, he struggled with alcoholism and personal tragedy, including the suicide of his mother. After retiring from the NBA, Maravich teetered on the edge of sanity, building underground bomb shelters and studying Ufology. His life dramatically changed when he placed his faith in God and finally found peace and forgiveness with his father, who drove him hard to succeed. Pistol Pete died suddenly at the age of 40 while doing what he loved — playing basketball.
“For many who just hear it, they think it’s a basketball story but it’s a story of a generational trauma and psychology, and some really fascinating things,” Furman told Collider during an interview tied to City of Lies. “Steve‘s obviously working in conjunction with the NBA — obviously he’s the coach of Brooklyn right now — and [we have] a wonderful group of people. I feel really honored. I wrote my sixth-grade “Heroes” paper on Pistol Pete,” said Furman.
“Pete is one of my favorite players of all time. I truly admired him and wanted to be more like him,” Nash said when the project was first announced, adding that he hoped to “give this legend the spotlight he deserves and tell a younger generation all about the genius he was.”
Furman previously directed the well-reviewed crime dramas The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey and The Infiltrator starring Bryan Cranston.