But who could possibly play Coach? Variety reports that “Stronger” and “All the Real Girls” filmmaker David Gordon Green is in final negotiations to direct a “reimagining” of the 2004 Universal film “Friday Night Lights,” which later spawned a beloved NBC series of the same name. The outlet hastens to add that this new film is both not a sequel to the film, directed by Peter Berg, or based on the series which starred Kyle Chandler as the lauded coach of a Texas high school football team.
Instead, the film will be a “new property” that is “still focused H.G. Bissinger’s non-fiction book about the 1988 Permian High School Panthers as the new Texas football team makes a run towards the state championship.” The book served as the inspiration for both the original film and television series.
Variety adds that Universal has long been eager to get back on the field with the enduring story of scrappy players and the town that loves them, including ideas that would have seen a sequel to the original film or even a new feature based on Chandler’s character. Apparently, the studio opted to “pursue a story with a completely different setting and cast of characters, while still focused on the world of high school in Texas and the impact it has the community.”
Best known in indie circles for his early films like “George Washington” and “All the Real Girls,” Green memorably veered off into studio comedy — with mixed results — with star-laden films like “Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness,” and “The Sitter.” His recent choices, however, including off-kilter indies like “Manglehorn” and “Prince Avalanche” have hinted at a return to his roots, and Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle “Stronger” made a brief (and deserving) run at awards glory.
He will next bow his “Halloween” sequel later this year (which earned strong early buzz at last month’s CinemaCon) and is currently in pre-production on the drama “Newsflash,” which follows newsman Walter Cronkite as he covers the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (his “Pineapple Express” star Seth Rogen is on board to play Cronkite).
Brian Grazer will produce the new film for Imagine Entertainment.