Canadian actor Lyriq Bent of “Book of Negroes” and “Rookie Blue” fame is set to star in the West Omaha Films and Falconer Pictures feature film “The Magician, the Marlin Briscoe Story,” in which the actor will play the Omaha, Nebraska native who, in 1968, became the first black starting quarterback in modern pro football history.
Speaking with the Omaha World-Herald, Bent said: “I was just so fascinated by his story. I wanted to know more. And when I got to meet him, it was amazing. He is just such a humble and positive person.”
A project that’s actually been in development for several years, is written by Gregory Allen Howard (“Remember the Titans” and “Ali”), although no director is attached at this time, although filming is slated to begin later this year in Canada.
Marlin Briscoe made history on October 6, 1968, starting at quarterback for the Denver Broncos during what was his rookie NFL season, in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He went on to play for the Miami Dolphins, with whom he won two Super Bowls as a wide receiver. He was part of the 1972 undefeated team. He also played for the San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots. After retiring in 1976, Briscoe moved to Los Angeles, where he became addicted to drugs, eventually becoming broke and homeless. The film will cover mostly his latter years, including his subsequent recovery.
Briscoe, now 70 years old, lives in Long Beach, California, and is aware of the film. In fact, he’s met with Lyriq Bent as well as the film’s producers on the making of the film.