Lombardi kicks off Pre-Super Bowl films
ESPN and the NFL, the American National Football League, have joined forces for more than just the broadcasting of games, they are now going to be producing feature films, and presumably feature films about sports.
The partnership idea is to develop an NFL related film which would be marketed throughout the football season and released in the off-weekend prior to the Super Bowl, thus grabbing the captive football audience when they're all hyped up for football but have a week of nothing to do.
It's a great strategy for development and release, and could deliver some films based on exciting and significant moments within NFL. Speaking about the strategy of developing and marketing the films, ESPN Films-Motion Pictures Senior Vice President Ron Semiao said:
"If you released an NFL-themed motion picture in that off week before the Super Bowl, that would give you an entire month to promote it during the playoffs and give an answer to all those people asking, 'What am I going to do until the Super Bowl starts?'"
This is really clever, business wise I mean. The first film marked for development is Lombardi, a film about the Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi that has been in development for a little while.
ESPN has already reworked the script and the film should be released the weekend before the 2011 Super Bowl, and apparently, according to the Variety story and Semiao, the changes have moved the film from a traditional sports film to something more akin to Raging Bull. Semiao rewrote the script from David Murray's version.
Vince Lombardi Jr. himself is a consultant on the film and the story is partly based on the memoirs of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer, who is also a film consultant.
Lombardi is going to look to the long rivalry between Lombardi and Dallas Cowboys' coach Tom Landry who were both line coaches on the New York Giants team during the 1958 championship game, a game that was apparently considered to be the greatest game ever played, and the Giants lost.
Another great moment between the two was when they were coaches on different teams battling in the 1967 Super Bowl which was nicknamed The Ice Bowl as it was played in temperatures that reached thirteen degrees below zero.
I have to admit I used to be a bigger NFL fan, and I shan't tell you who I supported for fear of ridicule, but I can see that there's going to be a huge audience for this film from the off. However it does look like it will be strongest in America and probably won't be making a theatrical release across the rest of the world, or do you think it will?