Last summer fans of Texas football, and more specifically, the series “Friday Night Lights,” got some hope that there was more to come. Peter Berg revealed that he wanted to get a feature film off the ground centered on Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton picking up where the final episode of the show left off, and that work was happening to start getting it rolling. And then, there was pretty much radio silence on it, but now it seems it’s becoming more of a reality.
Details recently chatted with both Berg and Britton, and though they remained cagey at first, the director laid it on the line: “We’re doing the movie.” And moreover, it seems a script and story is already being laid out as Britton recounts: “So, I had a meeting at [executive producer/writer] Jason Katims‘ office. And we were talking about something else and I said, ‘Forget about all that. Is this movie going to happen?’ I was sitting on his couch, and he’s like, ‘Look behind you.’ And I look behind me and it’s a wall with a big, huge corkboard on it with all these 3×5 cards. That’s what these writers do, they do the whole story on 3×5 cards. He’s like, That’s the movie.’ ”
Earlier this year, Berg revealed that the movie would be inspired by the true story of Mike Leach, the Texas Tech coach who was wrongfully accused of abusing a player, and got fired from his position. “I put Leach in a little cameo in ‘Friday Night Lights’ and I started to become friends with him, and then he got fired. I really studied that entire situation — his getting fired and the accusations made against him by Adam James, and the pressure that his father, Craig James, put on Leach, using his ESPN bully pulpit,” Berg explained about what was compelling about the tale. “Craig James is a fucking scumbag, helicopter dad—and everything wrong with the culture I observed in Texas. Mike Leach never put that kid in a closet. The kid admitted it. It was a total lie. Now Mike Leach has the Washington State University job and he’s got carte blanche. It’s a great comeback story.”
Now of course, until there is a greenlight or this is actually cameras rolling, we’ll keep the enthusiasm down a notch, but Universal, who have the rights, may have been noticing what Berg and ‘FNL’ star Taylor Kitsch have been experiencing during recent press rounds. “Here’s the crazy thing—I’ve been traveling around the world for ‘Battleship.’ And Taylor Kitsch has been traveling around the world for ‘John Carter.’ I mean, literally around the world. London, Paris, Germany, Spain, Moscow, Tokyo, Korea, Mexico City, Australia. For real. All those places. Everywhere we go we’re talking about ‘Battleship’ and ‘John Carter,’ but all they want to talk about is the Friday Night Lights movie. Everywhere. Even in fucking Korea! Taylor is like, ‘It’s just fucking ridiculous,’ ” Berg explained.
So clearly Britton is in, but what about Chandler? “We’ll get him,” Berg confidently stated. So are we getting close to the goal line here? Sure seems like it.