Morgan Creek goes Long

Football great Howie Long has signed a three-picture deal with Morgan Creek Prods., set to begin with the action drama “Field Test” this year.

The deal is the latest move in developing Long’s career as an action star. Fox has him in a three-picture deal, which starts with a starring role in the upcoming “Firestorm.” He had appeared in Fox’s 1996 “Broken Arrow.”

Long’s first Morgan Creek project will see him getting a salary more than double his fee on “Firestorm,” according to sources, with increases for his two other projects. Under the deal, his Morgan Creek pics are not to interfere with those at Fox. But his projects could alternate with those at Fox and elsewhere, and Morgan Creek could proceed on “Field Test” before Long does his two additional pics at Fox.

“Field Test” is described as “Predator” meets “The Dirty Dozen,” centered around a military field test.

Morgan Creek chairman and CEO James G. Robinson said in a statement that Long “has got exactly what the public wants in a leading man. He’s smart, he’s a superb athlete, he’s got the looks and, most important, he’s got the talent. He’s an ethical, solid kind of person, and that comes across on screen.”

“It’s because Howie has been a great team player as well as a star athlete that makes him so right for films,” said Bill Todman Jr., head of production at Morgan Creek. “Howie instinctively knows when to stand out and when to blend in.”

Long, who for 13 years was a defensive lineman with the Los Angeles Raiders, was named Male Star of Tomorrow at the ShoWest Awards last March. For his work for Fox Sports, he won an Emmy this year as best sports commentator.

Long’s Morgan Creek deal was negotiated by his rep, Jack Gilardi of ICM.

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