Sports in Movies — Upcoming Releases-Hollywood Report

By on September 20, 2010

Question: What do John Cena, Robert De Niro, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhall have in common?

Answer: They are all in upcoming Sports movies.

Sports have been a part of film for years, Bull Durham, Rudy, Brian’s Song, Slap Shot,  Rocky just to name a few. There have been great ones, bad ones and the forgotten ones. Over the next year Hollywood will push out over 100 sports related films, most of which will fall in the “I never heard of it”, “forgot about it”, and “somebody made a movie about it”.

The following, I believe will have a strong showing:


Professional Wrestler John Cena is staring in a drama, yes a drama. The plot is actually pretty interesting. John Cena plays the role of an ex-con that trains his younger and somewhat geeky brother to become a high school wrestler in hopes to carry on the family legacy. This film has a strong supporting cast with Academy Award Nominee Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and introducing Devon Graye as John Cena’s younger brother. Will this film help John Cena land more roles out of the action genre or will it show he is only good for the shoot ‘em ups he has done so far? I think it will at least open the door for him, being a pro wrestler you already have to be able to sell a character and I think John Cena does that in this film. We will all see when it’s released in early this month, September 2010.


Mark Wahlberg will be hoping this is his RAGING BULL or ROCKY film. This film has been in the works for a while now and looks like it will be released in December of 2010. Mark plays Boxer “Irish” Micky Ward. “The Fighter” chronicles the rise to fame Ward had with help of trainer and half brother Dickie Eklund played by Christian Bale. Amy Adams also appears in the film as Wards love interest. This looks like it may be pushed as an Academy Award favorite. Wahlberg certainly looking the part of Micky Ward and all the time and training put into the role he should be a shoe in for a nomination. Everybody loves a great boxing story right? Just ask Sly Stallone, and Robert De Niro what their boxing films did for their careers.


For now it’s the title, but just a working title, but it says it all. A feature film about the life of NFL superstar Joe Namath will be a must see for any football fan. Jake Gyllenhall will be playing Broadway Joe as the movie follows him from the days of having Bear Bryant as a coach in Alabama to winning the Super Bowl for the New York Jets. It’s still in production so no release date has been set, but they are aiming for a 2011 release, but it may be pushed back to 2012. I hope it’s worth the wait. If you have had a chance to see Jake on Saturday Night Live you will know he has no problem being funny and charismatic.


An icon on the screen will be playing an icon on the field. Robert De Niro will be playing Green Bay Packers coach and all time great motivational speaker Vince Lombardi. We will be able to see the growth of greatness as this film follows Vince Lombardi from when he took over the Packers when they were an awful team and pushed his men to churn out championship after championship. It’s set for release in 2012 and the goal is to have released a week before the Super Bowl. I can only imagine the advertising push it will have since it stars De Niro, screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump and The Good Shepherd) has signed on and not to mention it is an ESPN  film production. Out of the 4 films I’ve mentioned I’m most excited about this one. Is this another sports movie up for best picture and De Niro for best actor? It may be a little early to tell but the recipe for success is there.

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