'Walk the Line' Director Sets Sights on Football Legend Joe Namath
After bringing Johnny Cash to the big screen with Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line, director James Mangold is ready to move from the world of music to the arena of sports. THR has word that The Wolverine director is currently in early talks with Fox 2000 to direct an untitled biopic about legendary football quarter back Joe Namath. That's the same studio who brought Walk the Line to theaters, and there's another reunion with the script coming from Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Sounds like the perfect match, especially with Mangold's Tree Line Films producing as well.
As someone who isn't ingrained in sports at all, even I'm familiar with Joe Namath, which goes to show just how much of a sports legend he is. Namath spent most of his professional career playing for the New York Jets in the 60s and 70s, taking them all the way to a Super Bowl victory before retiring from the game in 1977. Namath wasn't only a football player with an amazing arm, but he was also one of the most likable athletes to play the game, going so far as to open a bar called Bachelors III after winning the Super Bowl, not to mention popping up on several TV shows and also starring in movies before becoming a commentator for "Monday Night Football."
There's a lot to pull from there alone, but Namath was also a notorious party boy and became known as a womanizer, earning the nickname "Broadway Joe." His antics went a little too far during live coverage of a New York Jets game in 2004 when he told Suzy Kolber, an ESPN interviewer, "I want to kiss you. I couldn't care less about the team struggling." He checked into rehab after that misstep, and he seems to be doing fine for now. In the hands of Mangold, this story could be rather compelling, but we hope it's not just a typical biopic retread with the same formula we've seen over and over again. Sound good?