Derek Jeter is launching his first movie project about former NFL player Vernon Turner through Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune company.
TPT has optioned the rights to Turner’s life story. In May, the TPT web site published Turner’s “Letter to my Younger Self” about his upbringing and his mother’s drug use.
TPT will be leading production on the film. Brett Gursky and Josh Surkin, who previously worked for Highland Film Group, are also producing through their Magic Hour production company.
Jeter retired from baseball in 2014 after two decades as a New York Yankees star and launched TPT last year as a company specializing in publishing first-person stories from athletes. More than 900 athletes have participated on the site since its launch.
“I’m very excited to join forces with The Players’ Tribune again,” Turner said in a statement. “The feedback I received after publishing my story on TPT was overwhelming, and I’m looking forward to this next chapter and sharing my story in more detail on the screen.”
Turner grew up in the New York City area in poverty and his mother died when he was a freshman in high school. He was a running back and wide receiver for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 1990s.
“The Players’ Tribune is an incubator of compelling content, and we actively seek stories that resonate with fans and can translate into meaningful programming,” said Jaymee Messler, president of TPT. “We are excited about exploring and expanding into other mediums. Vernon’s story is incredibly powerful and we’re looking forward to developing the film with the same commitment to robust storytelling that has made TPT so successful.”
CAA and Stone, Genow brokered the deal with Magic Hour Productions on behalf of TPT.