The life story of legendary football coach, broadcaster, and video game maven John Madden is coming to the small screen. Gavin O’Connor will direct the upcoming miniseries. The new project was originally developed as a feature but proved too expansive to capture in a single film, necessitating its expansion into a limited series according to Deadline.
Recently-retired quarterback Tom Brady, who just made a foray into Hollywood with the comedy 80 For Brady, will be among the series’ producers, a development important to the late Madden’s family; says Madden‘s son Mike Madden, “If Dad was still around, and he was looking for a few guys to huddle up and tell his story, he’d be thrilled to have Tom Brady leading the huddle.” With a director in place, the miniseries will now search for a lead actor, then seek out a broadcast partner. Director O’Connor has extensive experience with sports movies, having directed the Olympic hockey “Miracle on Ice” film Miracle, the MMA drama Warrior, and the Ben Affleck basketball movie The Way Back.
Who Is John Madden?
Born in 1936, Madden was a promising college football player who signed with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, but a knee injury ended his playing career, and he turned his attention to coaching. After a successful stint with San Diego State, he was hired by Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis as a linebackers coach; a year later, he was promoted to head coach at age 32. Madden‘s Raiders teams played hard-edged football, winning seven divisional titles and 1977’s Super Bowl XI.
Tiring of coaching after ten consecutive winning seasons, Madden retired and joined CBS as an NFL commentator. He would eventually work for all four major broadcast networks, and became a beloved and respected figure, winning sixteen Emmys. Madden was known for his boisterous style, his “everyman” image, his ability to clearly explain complicated football concepts, and his eccentricities, most famously his aversion to flying. He was also a successful commercial pitchman, appearing in ads for Outback Steakhouse, Tinactin, and Miller Beer. After calling Super Bowl LXII in 2009, Madden retired from the broadcast booth. Madden also burnished his legacy with the Madden NFL series of video games, to which he lent his name, voice, and creative input; Madden saw the popular, long-running series as a football teaching tool. He died at age 85 in 2021.
The miniseries will be produced by Todd Lieberman’s Hidden Pictures, Lit Entertainment Group’s Adam Kolbrenner, Religion of Sports’ Gotham Chopra, Ryan Stowell, and Brady’s 199 Productions. Also producing will be the Madden family, Sandy Montag, and the Montag Group. Alex Young of Hidden Pictures, David Glickman, Kendrick Tan, and Sean Sansiveri will co-produce. Henry Cheatham will supervise the project for Religion of Sports. The miniseries will be written by Alex Sohn.
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