Biopics aren't born, they are made
ESPN Films-Motion Pictures is joining NFL Films to produce an already-in-the-works TV movie about the life of legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, according to Variety.com. Scheduled to premiere the weekend before the Super Bowl in 2011, the Lombardi movie will reportedly be less of the traditional sports movie originally intended, says ESPN Films' Ron Semiao, who also re-wrote the screenplay, than something closer to "Raging Bull." Whether that means we can expect a scene where a bloated, disfigured Lombardi tells bad jokes to himself in the mirror remains to be seen.
According to Variety, the movie promises to highlight the rivalry between Vince and Tom Landry, coach of the Dallas Cowboys at the time of the 1967 Ice Bowl. I can totally see the entire film being framed around the Ice Bowl, with flashbacks to Lombardi's life up to that point. The whole dang thing practically writes itself.
The big question, of course, is who plays him? In addition to being a brilliant mind and fiery personality, Lombardi had quite the distinctive mug. There's probably not an actor in Hollywood who comes close to resembling him. Maybe Marty Balsam back in the day could have pulled it off, or perhaps a young Jerry Stiller.
But who do we have these days? Paul Giamatti? He's about the right age (Lombardi was 45 when he started coaching the Pack), but he's too shlubby. We need someone with a more imposing presence. Willem DaFoe, maybe? In a false nose, of course, and with a few pounds packed on him. He could definitely pull off the necessary temperament, and he's already played a character who loved to dress all in green in "Spider-Man."
I don't know, anybody else got some ideas? Who would you cast in the upcoming Vince Lombardi TV biopic? Hit the comments field with your suggestions.
-- Adam Reinhard, firstname.lastname@example.org