Ratliff wrote the script with David Gilbert. Filming begins February in New Mexico.
Kat Dennings will also star.
DeLillo set his second novel in the world of Texas college football.
Hartnett will play a gifted running back who is fumbling his attempts to acclimate to stardom. Dennings plays a student who captivates the jock. Rockwell plays the school’s excitable publicist. Yet to be cast is a teacher of international terrorism and mass destruction who sees the running back as the perfect soldier/student.
“`End Zone’ is such a wonderfully subversive novel that I always saw a movie in it,” Ratliff said.
Johnathan Dorfman and Temple Fennell of ATO Pictures will produce, and the 12th Floor Film Fund is putting up the coin.
Dorfman and Fennell produced Ratliff’s directorial debut, “Joshua,” which debuted at Sundance and was acquired by Fox Searchlight.