Comedy mainstay Will Ferrell is at the top of the list to play the late NFL coach/commentator/video game star John Madden in an upcoming biopic. The film is being directed by David O. Russell (“Amsterdam”) for Amazon’s Prime Video Sports. From a script penned by Cambron Clark (“Dinosaurs of the Jurassic World”).
The biopic, titled “Madden,” will follow the football icon’s post-coaching career. Where he took on becoming a broadcaster and co-creator of EA Sports’ “Madden” NFL video game series. A video game series that has been going strong since 1988. Even after leaving broadcasting in 2009, he continued to lend his name and creative input to the now legendary franchise.
According to the logline: “After being forced into retirement by the Oakland Raiders, fiery former NFL head coach John Madden teams up with a mild-mannered Harvard programmer to rewrite his fading legacy by building the world’s first football video game.”
While this seems like a much more dramatic film, and Ferrell is known for his brand of outlandish comedy. (Even the actor’s more serious roles like 2006’s “Stranger Than Fiction” still had heavily comedic elements to them.) Many other comedians have transitioned into drama with little to no issue. For example, Jim Carrey in Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Or the late comedian Robin Williams‘ starring roles in 2002’s “Insomnia” and “One Hour Photo.”
While Ferrell’s chameleon-like ability to change his appearance and demeanor is normally played for laughs. It could be a fantastic tool for more dramatic roles. Or “Madden” could end up being a more funny, light-hearted approach to a biopic. In these early stages of development, it can be hard to tell what tone a movie will take.
There is no set release date for “Madden” yet. But we’ll keep you posted on updates as they develop.