War. Wall Street. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Crime. Politics. What’s left for Oliver Stone to tackle but sports … specifically, the National Football League.
Stone plans to direct a project that delves into the world of football and would combine the script of “Playing Hurt” at Warner Bros., which Richard Donner was attached to direct, with that of “Any Given Sunday,” which Stone had been developing at Turner Pictures.
Stone, who just wrapped “U Turn” for Phoenix Pictures and Sony, confirmed that he planned to direct as well as produce the project for Warner Bros. The filmmaker said that he may also include parts of “Monday Night,” an-other football project that he had been developing through his company Ixtlan Prods. The project will have a new name and the Donners are expected to produce.
Targeting early start
Sources said that the company is targeting a start as early as the summer; Stone, however, still has a com-mitment with Cinergi for one more film as part of a deal struck when “Nixon” was moved out of Warner Bros.
“Playing Hurt” is a true story based on the Robert Huizenga book, “I’m Okay, It’s Only a Bruise,” which deals with a sports doctor who faces the moral dilemma of whether to pump up athletes to deaden the pain so they can play. Ray Gideon and Bruce Evans had been developing the material with Dick Donner and Dustin Hoffman, who was interested in the lead role.
“Any Given Sunday,” written by playwright-turned-screenwriter John Logan, is a drama about the rivalry between a quarterback and an NFL coach who has come to the realization that the game has passed him by and ponders whether to retire. It was sold to Turner for Stone and producer Dan Halsted to produce through Illusion Entertainment.
“Monday Night,” written by Jamie Williams and Richard Weiner, is an expose about the inner workings of pro-football. Stone is repped by Creative Artists Agency’s Mike Menchel.