Will Ferrell To Star In David O. Russell’s ‘Madden’

Per Deadline, Will Ferrell is in advanced talks to star as NFL legend John Madden in Madden, a biopic to be directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) for Amazon and MGM.

Based on a Black List script by Cambron Clark, the project has reportedly been percolating for some time. Clark and Russell were doing rewrites on the film when the writer’s strike hit.

The film will tell the story of one of the larger-than-life personalities to grace an NFL sideline; John Madden, the former head coach, commentator, and video game cover star.

After a successful coaching career that culminated in winning the Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders, the stress of the job began to destroy Madden. It forced him away from his dream, and the film will focus on his friendship with Raiders owner Al Davis, and how Madden found a second act that made him far more famous.

He then redefined the notion of the football broadcaster with an outsized personality that made him a national treasure in the U.S., and led to a big endorsement career, which went on to include the first Madden video game.

Although he’d never played a video game in his life, Madden helped changed the landscape when he became the figurehead for Madden NFL. The series quickly became a perennial top seller, and will release its 24th incarnation this year.

The film will be produced by Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jonathan Shukat, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch.

Latter is the co-owner of the New York Giants, and the expectation is that the NFL will embrace the film on one of their most beloved figures, who passed away in December of 2021 at the age of 85.

Ferrell is a great pick for the lead role. As always, he’ll bring his likeable and bubbly personality to the screen and should have no trouble emulating Madden’s mannerisms.

Ferrell will next be seen in Greta Gerwig‘s Barbie, comedy You’re Cordially Invited with Reese Witherspoon, and lend his voice to R-rated animated comedy Strays.

Russell is coming off the star-studded period mystery Amsterdam. He also has the 70s-set Super Toys lined up, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen and Keke Palmer.


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