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‘Friday Night Lights’ New Film Taps Director David Gordon Green

“Stronger” and “Pineapple Express” helmer David Gordon Green is in final negotiations to direct Universal’s reimagining of “Friday Night Lights.”

Sources tell Variety that the movie is not a sequel to Universal’s 2004 film starring Billy Bob Thornton, nor is it based on NBC’s TV series with Kyle Chandler. Instead, it’s a new property, though still focused H.G. Bissinger’s non-fiction book about the 1988 Permian High School Panthers as the new Texas football team makes a run towards the state championship.

The original film, directed by Peter Berg, brought in a modest $61 million at the domestic box office. The property gained momentum when NBC and Berg turned it into a TV series, which garnered critical acclaim as well as an Emmy win for Chandler in its five-year run.

Since the show ended, Universal has thrown around the high idea of returning to the Texas city of Odessa, considering both a sequel to the Thorton film and feature film based on the Chandler character. The studio finally decided to pursue a story with a completely different setting and cast of characters, while still focused on the world of high school in Texas and the impact it has the community.

Brian Grazer will produce for Imagine Entertainment. Executive VP of production Jon Mone and creative executive Lexi Barta will oversee production for Universal.

Robert Schenkkan penned the script. His recent credits include “Hacksaw Ridge” and the Tony Award winning play “All The Way.” He is repped by WME.

Green most recently directed the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer “Stronger,” which center on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Green is repped by CAA.

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