TriStar Wins Rights to Inspirational Football Story (EXCLUSIVE)

Daniel Rodriguez won Purple Heart before joining college team

Daniel Rodriguez

In a bidding war against Universal, TriStar Productions has won the rights for the life story and forthcoming book “Rise: An Epic Story of a Soldier, His Dream, and a Promise Kept” by Daniel Rodriguez with Joe Layden, a New York Times bestselling author.

The book, acquired for publication for mid-six figures by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is scheduled for release on October 7.

Rodriguez, a Purple Heart and bronze star recipient, decided to join the military months before he graduated from high school, and spent two and a half years serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Struggling with post traumatic stress disorder upon his return Stateside, Rodriguez pursued his dream, and a promise he made to himself on the battlefield, of playing Division 1 football. At 5’8”, 175 pounds and with a 1.9 high school GPA, the then 24-year-old veteran posted a YouTube video of himself talking about his skills on the battlefield and his background in the hopes of attracting attention from college coaches.

That video, which has roughly 50,000 views, along with the G.I. Bill, earned him a football scholarship to Clemson University. Rodriguez is currently a junior at Clemson and continues to play football.

In August 2013, Sony Pictures Entertainment hired former Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman to revitalize its TriStar Productions label. Ellen Goldmsith-Vein and Chris George from Gotham Group are producing. Joe Veltre at Gersh in New York negotiated the deal.