Netflix continues to cash in on their multi-year deal with Adam Sandler‘s Happy Madison Productions, although their latest project is set to star Kevin James instead. James will play current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in Home Team for the streaming platform.
However, the movie won’t focus on the Saints, but high school team the Warriors, which includes Payton’s son Connor. The story begins back when Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 NFL season for his role in the Saints’ Bountygate scandal. He decides to reassess his life and uses his newfound free time to bond with his son by coaching the offense for his youth football team.
His son Connor is the star athlete on the team, but he’s also a sensitive kid who has missed his dad thanks to the coach’s fierce commitment to football, and their rocky father-son relationship is central to the story.
Payton has reportedly read the script himself and added a few corrections. The true story was previously chronicled by NFL 360. Production is due to begin next month in Louisiana.
It’s a little hard to gauge exactly what tone this is going for. James is usually known for goofy comedies but this sounds more in the realm of comedy-drama. Not to mention the fact that the springboard for the story is Bountygate – where Saints players were paid more for injuring stars of opposing teams – arguably one of the biggest scandals in NFL history.
That’s a pretty serious subject to begin a Happy Madison film with, so maybe this won’t be the sort of goofy James sports comedy we’ve seen in the past such as Here Comes The Boom. It’s got a potentially heartfelt father-son dynamic at the heart of it, so maybe we’ll see a different side of James in a redemptive sports movie similar to Little Giants or McFarland USA.
Coincidentally, Sandler’s next Netfix project is also sports-related. It’s titled Hustle, and he stars alongside Queen Latifah as a former basketball recruiter who tries to remake his career by bringing a player from overseas to play in the NBA. Perhaps there will be a little friendly competition between Sandler and James as to whose sports movie comes out better.