Angelo Pizzo (Hoosiers, Rudy) has been tapped to adapt Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins‘ acclaimed book The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, A People, A Nation, as the first project optioned by Ray Halbritter and his Standing Arrow Productions banner, which launched in February.
Jenkins’ book chronicles the true-life exploits of the Carlisle Indian School football team, which was the most innovative and successful football program in the United States in the early 20th century. The team was led by Coach Glenn “Pop” Warner and its best player, Jim Thorpe, won the 1912 Olympic Gold Medal in both the Pentathlon and Decathlon.
The book explores the history of the team, the racial and political bigotry faced by the students that still resonates today over a century later, as well as the violent attempt to decimate a culture and the birth of a game that has thrilled Americans for several generations.
“I am more than excited to be asked to tackle the Carlisle Indian Industrial School story”, Pizzo said in a statement. “I’ve been fascinated by this most compelling and inspiring tale since I read my first biography of Jim Thorpe as a boy. Sally Jenkins’ book, ‘The Real All Americans’, creates a context and perspective that elevates this unique period of history well beyond just another sports story”.
Halbritter added: “I have been a long-time admirer of Angelo Pizzo’s brilliant and iconic work. Hoosiers and Rudy melded sports with human drama to inspire millions, and that is our intent with The Real All Americans. Standing Arrow Productions has found the perfect writer to begin our cinematic journey”.
Pizzo’s involvement obviously makes sense considering his frequent sports-centric scripts, which also includes The Game Of Their Lives and My All-American.
Halbritter has long been a vocal fighter to eliminate derogatory sports mascots and team names that negatively affect Native American sensibilities and identity, and hopefully this is another step towards a more respectful representation of Native Americans in popular culture.