Robert DeNiro is Coach Vince Lombardi in ESPN Films Biopic
While he has previously taken on the real-life personas of people like Al Capone and Jake La Motta, actor Robert De Niro hasn't been dabbling in historical territory too much in recent years, at least, until now. Not only has he been confirmed to be playing Alabama Governor George Wallace in Lee Daniels' Selma, but now THR's Risky Biz blog reports that he will play iconic coach Vince Lombardi in the ESPN Films biopic simply titled Lombardi, to be written by Oscar winning Forrest Gump writer Eric Roth. The film will focus on the 8 or so years that Lombardi rebuilt the Green Bay Packers into gridiron NFL champions.
Lombardi is a legendary coach most know for his work with the Packers from 1959-67, winning five league championships during his nine years with the team. He went on to accomplish a 105–35–6 record as head coach (.750, discarding ties as was the NFL policy) and he never suffered a losing season. He then led the Packers to a still-unmatched three consecutive NFL championships in 1965, 1966, and 1967; winning the first two Super Bowls, solidifying his place in history as one of, if not the greatest coach in football history.
Charles Coplin, the NFL's vice president of programming said about this casting news: "There are few actors who could accurately portray the fire, passion and grit of Lombardi, and we're thrilled to have Robert De Niro on our team. With the addition of De Niro, Eric and Tribeca Productions, we have a deep bench to produce a film worthy of the legendary coach and American icon." There's some great projects coming up for De Niro, and I'm happy his career hasn't been entirely hampered by some less than stellar missteps (such as Righteous Kill). This is definitely a project that we'll keep our eye on as it develops. Sound good sports fans?