It seems the year of Kevin Costner just won’t quit. With “Hatfields & McCoys” proving he’s still got some mojo, the actor has been busy on the still-untitled Jack Ryan reboot (which may even launch a spin-off with his character), he’s pitching a franchise called “The Explorer’s Guild” and he’ll star in McG‘s Luc Besson-produced thriller. And now, the man who is no stranger to sports movies is going to get on the gridiron for Ivan Reitman.
Vulture reports the will star in the director’s previously announced dramedy “Draft Day.” Penned by Rajiv Joseph (a Pulitzer-nominated playwright who also wrote episodes of “Nurse Jackie“) and Scott Rothman, the story centers on the general manager of the Buffalo Bills (Costner’s role) who spends the day trying to make sure he gets the number one pick in the NFL draft. Toss in some family drama and romantic stuff and it sounds like a no-brainer right? Well, the trick to getting this kind of movie off the ground — at least if you’re going to use a real franchise — is to get the participation of the NFL, who can be notoriously prickly about licensing their brand. But surprisingly, not only are they on board, they might even kick in some cash.
The league is apparently considering throwing the Paramount picture $20 million, though nothing is confirmed. But generally speaking, the NFL hasn’t approved use of the teams or name in any movie that depicts anything less than a golden portrayal of the sport (hence, Oliver Stone‘s “Any Given Sunday” getting the shaft). But reeling from the whole referee strike fiasco and a growing concern about player safety, this might be the kind of project to build back some goodwill with the public. And who better than Costner to do it?
Everything is preliminary at the moment, but we’ll soon see if this deal gets run into the endzone.