The upcoming Friday Night Lights remake has a new director. Originally going to be helmed by David Gordon Green, John Erick Dowdle will now direct the project. Green was forced to leave due to conflicts with his work on the Halloween franchise.
Dowdle will reportedly polish up the script with his brother Drew, who is also an executive producer. Green and Josh Parkinson have written the most recent verison, with an earlier draft by Robert Schenkkan (Hacksaw Ridge).
The movie is the latest adaptation of H.G. Bissinger‘s legendary 1990 sports book of the same name. The non-fiction book chronicles the small town of Odessa, Texas, its football obsession, and the high school kids at the centre of it all.
It was first adapted into a narrative film in 2004 with Billy Bob Thornton as the lead. Then there was a series adaptation that ran from 2006-2011 starring Kyle Chandler that was critically acclaimed. Why Universal feels the need for another adaptation is unclear since the story has already been re-told twice before, but that is the nature of the industry nowadays.
Dowdle technically has some Friday Night Lights links by association. Together with his brother, they were the showrunners on the limited series Waco, which starred FNL alumni Taylor Kitsch as Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. It’s not much, but it’s something.
Both previous Friday Night Lights versions are well worth checking out. It will be interesting to see what this new version updates considering the changes in American football since both Bissinger’s book and the previous adaptations.