Helmer Gartner makes feature debut

Ben Affleck’s next picture will be Disney’s Jerry Bruckheimer production “Glory Road.” The Mouse House aims to start production this summer.

Commercials helmer James Gartner has been hired to make his feature directing bow.

Affleck will star as a college basketball coach who led the first all-black lineup of players to the NCAA championship.

The actor will portray coach Don Haskins, whose integrated 1966 Texas Western team beat an all-white team from Kentucky. Haskins’ team was among the first college teams to abandon slow-tempo offenses in favor of the high-speed style that dominates the game today.

Haskins won the NCAA title four years after taking over the team and helped further open the college game to African-Americans.

Chris Cleveland penned the script. Bruckheimer produces, with Chad Oman and Mike Stenson serving as executive producers.

Gartner is an award-winning commercials helmer whose clients include American Express, Federal Express and AT&T.

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