HBO Point pic is well taken

Award-winning SI scribe may pen screenplay

NEW YORK — HBO Films will develop a forthcoming Sports Illustrated article by Frank Deford, “Honor Among Players,” chronicling the 1951 West Point football scandal that resulted in the expulsion of more than half the team.

Producers David Kennedy and Dan Curtis (“War and Remembrance,” “The Winds of War”) of Dan Curtis Prods. brought the idea to HBO even before SI agreed to publish the piece. Deford, who has won numerous magazine awards as an SI senior contributing writer, also makes frequent appearances on HBO Sports programs. Both HBO and SI are units of Time Warner.

Honor-bound

In researching his article, Deford unearthed new material on the scandal, which tested the limits of the school’s famous honor code and came to involve such characters as General Douglas MacArthur and President Eisenhower (both rabid West Point football fans). The 9,000-word story, which includes interviews with some of the surviving cadets, will appear in SI’s November issue. Deford will also develop the treatment for HBO and possibly write the screenplay.

HBO exec Kary Antholis will develop the project as an original HBO Films production under division prexy Colin Callender. Pic, whose working title is “The Price of Honor,” is likely to air next year.

Deford was repped by Jody Hotchkiss of Sterling Lord Literistic.

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