Lost in the ether while we were blathering on about Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers opening training camp, was the announcement that Lombardi will be coming to the big screen in 2011.
As first reported by Variety, Lombardi is a partnership between ESPN, the NFL and Andell Entertainment. The script, which was originally supposed to focus on the Ice Bowl, was expanded to focus on Vince Lombardi’s long rivalry with Dallas Cowboys’ coach Tom Landry.
My initial reaction was somewhere between mild interest and slight indifference, since most fact-based football movies (Remember the Titans, Invincible, The Express: The Ernie Davis Story) haven’t been terribly exciting, but it looks like Lombardi has some potential.
Ron Semiao, ESPN Films-Movies senior VP, told Variety the tone of the film will resemble Raging Bull more so than any of the above-mentioned films.
I’m sure the fact that Lombardi is about the Green Bay Packers is all most Packers’ fans need to know to show up, but an edgier script, ala Raging Bull, gives the film the potential for a wider audience. And, in probably the best marketing decision that they could have made, ESPN announced that the film will be released the weekend between the conference championships and the Super Bowl in 2011, a weekend when football fans are left wandering around aimlessly wondering what to do.
Lombardi will be partially based on Jerry Kramer’s book, Instant Replay. Kramer and Vince Lombardi Jr. will serve as consultants on the project.
No word as of yet if the film will be shot in Wisconsin.