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Netflix Developing Biopic on Nike Founder Phil Knight

Netflix has optioned the movie rights to Nike founder Phil Knight’s autobiography “Shoe Dog.”

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, whose credits include “Ed Wood,” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” are writing the screenplay. Knight will produce with Frank Marshall.

Knight launched Nike in 1963 with $50 borrowed from his father with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Knight grossed $8,000 in that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $36 billion.

“I look forward to working with my friend, the great Frank Marshall, in bringing my story and the story of Nike to the screen,” Knight said. “I have been gratified by the reception my book has received and think that we can explain my journey and the story of Nike to an even larger audience in collaboration with Netflix.”

Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, said, “We couldn’t be more excited to be making ‘Shoe Dog’ with Phil Knight, one of the world’s business icons and a great storyteller. Phil created a brand and a company that became much more than the swoosh. Through innovation, passion, and trial and error, Phil created something that became a part of our culture. We can’t wait to share that with the world.”

Marshall and Knight have a relationship dating back to the 1980’s, when they met during the production of “Back To The Future.”

“Ever since our collaboration on ‘BTTF’ and being a runner myself, I’ve always been fascinated by Phil’s story and how the company came to be,” Marshall said. “It’s an amazing tale about what the path to success really looks like, with its mistakes, struggles, sacrifice and even luck. It’s about how a company can grow with the right people, dedication, a belief in the power of sport and a shared mission to build a brand that would change everything.”

Marshall has been nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award five times for “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Color Purple,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Seabiscuit” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

“Shoe Dog” was published in April, 2016, and remains on the New York Times Best Seller list. Robert B. Barnett and Michael O’Connor of Williams & Connolly and Steve Burkow of Ziffren Brittenham LLP negotiated on behalf of Knight. Alexander and Karaszewski are repped by CAA and Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Klein LLP.

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