Will Farrell to Play in Eye-Opening New Biopic
It was just announced that Will Ferrell is set to portray Coach John Madden in David O’Russell’s (The Fighter, American Hustle) latest project, according to Deadline. For a quick history lesson to all the young kids out there, John Madden is the legendary NFL coach who won the Super Bowl for the Oakland Raiders in 1977. He’s best remembered as a notable sports announcer who signed his name to the immensely popular Madden NFL (1988) video game, sparking subsequent generations of interest in the sport since its inception. Moreover, Madden’s decision to dip into the gaming world helped him reach a wider audience beyond football fanatics. It found adulation with those who would rather hide safely behind the video game screen than play rough on the football field.
Madden was a larger-than-life figure with a signature style of using sounds to grab viewers’ attention at home. He excitedly yelled out: “boom,” ‘whap,” and “doink.” He made football engaging. With his confident persona, people would never know he came from humble beginnings. His father was an auto mechanic, but his son, little John Madden, had big dreams that would eventually come to fruition. Madden’s upbringing helped him appeal to the everyday man by endorsing products ranging from beer to foot fungus medicine. No product was too big or too small for this guy.
How does Will Ferrell fit into this biopic?
Ferrell has done his fair share of sports-themed films, with memorable turns as a NASCAR driver in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and being a professional ice skater adorning multiple leotards in Blades of Glory (2007). However, taking on Coach Madden would be a serious turn for the actor. Ferell is still synonymous with goofy comedies and less well-known for dramatic ones. Still, audiences should remember that films like Stranger than Fiction (2006) and Everything Must Go (2010) have solidified that Ferrell’s more than just a one-trick, absurdist pony; when given the opportunity, he’s a bonafide dramatic actor. Based on how audiences have warmed up to him in the past when he’s stretched himself beyond comedic means, this bodes well for his potential Coach Madden portrayal.
What to Expect
David O’Russell has begun rewriting the script that Cambron Clark penned. If there’s one thing audiences have learned from David O’Russell’s works, it’s that he has a gift for challenging his actors and making them rise to the occasion, resulting in Oscar-lauded performances. Just O’Russell’s name alone should sell this Coach Madden film as one that will be a must-see.
If someone thinks they’re tired of just a run-of-the-mill biopic, fear not. It touches upon greater themes of friendship through Madden’s relationship with Al Davis, who was the Oakland Raider’s owner. In addition, this film explores how Madden went from one of the most prominent head coaches ever to becoming even more famous post-coaching when his star should have been dimming. He exceeded everyone’s expectations and proved that aging doesn’t mean you should fade into obscurity. Furthermore, any films that challenge society’s views about what one can accomplish beyond youth should be celebrated.
This Prime Video Sports Original is on a hiatus due to the writer’s strike, so David O’Russell isn’t allowed to keep writing just yet. However, in the meantime, brush up on football knowledge or maybe even dabble in testing out Madden’s legendary football game from the comfort of home.
Blades of Glory (2007) Official Paramount Pictures Trailer