War-hero-turned-football-star Brian Stokes will be the subject of a feature from NFL Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino, Brian Hyland, Doodle Films and Scarpe Diem Prods. Joel Silverman, who has penned a variety of inspirational sports dramas including “Full-Court Miracle,” has been tapped to write the Stokes project.
Stokes was awarded the Purple Heart after he was hit with shrapnel from a roadside roadside bomb in Iraq while serving as a sergeant in the Marines.
The drama introduces a young Stokes who, unable to fulfill his dream of becoming a college football player, descends into alcohol and drugs before being pushed by his parents to join the military — where he led his men through two tours in Iraq. Near the end of his tour, his men urged him to resume his dream to play college football, so Stokes began training and made the Appalachian State football team at age 27, and helped lead them to a national championship.
“When my friend and producer at HBO, Brian Hyland, made me aware of the incredible heroism and valor in combat of Marine Sgt. Brian Stokes, I was overwhelmed,” Marino said. “It’s a miracle he survived. When I learned of his determination to achieve the one dream in his life that had alluded him — to play college football, the game I love — at an age when most college guys are well past their playing days, I almost found it hard to believe.”
Hyland, who won multiple sports Emmys for his work on “Inside the NFL,” said the film will focus on football and Iraq. “The film will show Stokes and his crew for what they were — American kids thrown into impossible situations, whose reactions under bizarre circumstances proved the content of their character and a do-the-right-thing attitude they took directly from their leader, Brian Stokes,” he said.
Silverman recently wrote a biopic for Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney about Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian.
He’s repped by Original Artists.