Disney has set tyro helmer Ericson Core to direct “Invincible,” the fact-based story of a Philadelphia Eagles fan who emerged from a publicity stunt open tryout to become an impact player on the team.
Pic’s produced by Mayhem Pictures partners Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray along with Ken Mok, who mined the inspirational sports terrain for the Disney hits “Miracle” and “The Rookie.” Nikki Reed and Victor Constantino are also producing. Brad Gann wrote the script.
Pic focuses on Vince Papale, who in 1976 was a 30-year-old bartender who answered the call when incoming Eagles coach Dick Vermeil decided to shake up his team by holding an open tryout. Papale was among a swarm of fans, but he was the only one left standing by the end of the tryout. That in itself was quite a victory for a lifelong Eagles fan who had never played high school football, who had been laid off from his teaching job and whose wife recently walked out on him.
Papale got a rude introduction to football when he came to camp and was pummeled by Eagles players he idolized. He hung in there and made the team and went on to play three seasons for the Eagles. Papale was a wide receiver but made his mark on special teams, where he was named captain and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery against the New York Giants in his rookie season.
Core is also something of a Cinderella story. An accomplished cinematographer on films including “Payback,” “The Fast and the Furious” and “Daredevil,” Core tossed away that career because he wanted to be a film director. He signed with Gersh and helmed commercials and musicvideos while waiting for his feature shot.
Disney topper Nina Jacobson and execs Brad Epstein and Mac Torluccio sparked to his take on Papale’s story. He will begin shooting the film this summer.