6 Athletes Who Deserve Their Own Biopic
There have been reports Mark Wahlberg has stated he wants to turn “The Fighter” into a trilogy. Is this the next Rocky franchise? Most likely not, since this one’s based on actual events, but one wonders if Mickey Ward’s story warrants three feature length films? Prior to The Fighter’s release, his name rang few bells, but judging by its critical and box office success, one has to take a look around at other sports figures to see who’s ripe for the Hollywood treatment. In April 2009, Bleacher Report published their list of athletes who deserve celluloid dedications, now we have our list.
Football has taken the title of America’s national pastime from baseball with a ferocity that hasn’t been seen since big kids started shaking down little kids for their lunch money on the playgrounds. But Hank Aaron is still a hero of mine and I think the guy’s story should be up on the big screen. For starters, he is one of the greatest pure hitters of all-time and was a big boring bag of consistency during all 24 of his major league seasons. He was a less celebrated migrant from the Negro to Major Leagues but his play soon spoke for him. 755 Home Runs and almost 2,000 RBI (both all-time records when he retired) will do that for you. I’m not going to get on my high horse and say he’s still the home run king in my book, but I guess I just did didn’t I? The part of the flick I’d most be into are some of the extremists (white people) that tried to rattle his cage as he was getting ready to pass Babe Ruth? I forsee a LOT of off color language.
NOTE: There was a 1995 documentary on Hank called, “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream” that was nominated for an Academy Award. Remember? No? Okay, then we need to make a dramatic version of his life story.
The only thing society loves more than redemption is relapse. Blame Dr. Drew or whoever you want for creating the idea that trainwrecks make good television. But I think they’d make great film fodder, too and John Daly is a trainwreck to the MAX. A winner of two golfing majors, I can already see those two wins being the bookends to his film. After his victory in the 1991 PGA Championship, John’s waistline blows up faster than his golfing profile but both swell down enough to take him to the 1995 British Open title. It’s a Hollywood ending complete with booze, bawdiness, and broads in between the success. And with 95 percent of golfers living boring lives and the jury still out on whether or not Tiger Woods gets his groove back, I think John is the perfect candidate for the next great golfing movie.
I’m not the most rabid watcher of hockey but Cam definitely deserves some movie love. His name is well-known around hockey as a player whose career was cut short due to his body breaking down on him. But on the ice, right winger made the most of his short time in the game. He was a three-time All-Star and trails only Wayne Gretzky in the fewest games played to reach 50 goals. A degenerative hip injury forced him to retire and since he’s started foundations and is now the president of the Boston Bruins. So he isn’t exactly struggling to make ends meet. Plus, he’s not a newcomer to the big screen with cameos in Farrelly Brothers movies Dumb & Dumber, Stuck On You, and My, Myself & Irene.
The man won a Super Bowl while simultaneously pushing his own brand of cereal. I think that speaks for itself. Seriously though, Warner is one of the best rags to riches stories in the history of sports. He bagged groceries while being a father and husband that still harbored dreams of playing in the NFL. He toiled in NFL Europe and in the AFL before finally getting a look from “Weepy” Dick Vermeil and things just took off from there. By the way, this is not a homer pick. Even if he didn’t lead my hometown St. Louis Rams to a win in the one of the all-time great Super Bowls (Fire up, RAMS), I’d STILL say the guy deserves to see his story played out. Preferably with a July 4th weekend release. I’m just sayin’.
Artest has been a subject of frequent controversy: He drank Hennessy cognac in the locker room at halftime, he applied for a job at Circuit City in order to get an employee discount, he attended practice in a bath robe. Screenwriters WISH they could make that stuff up. The movie will chronicle his rise from the depths of the Palace Brawl to the heights of winning an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers. We’ll see him as the scared and confused guy from New York that just wants to make a dollar out of 15 cents. Anyone got Will Smith or Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s number?
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Those of you scoffing at the idea of a movie about a pro wrestler, I’ll kindly ask you to watch Darren Aronofsky’s 1998 Oscar-nominated drama “The Wrestler” starring Mickey Rourke. Austin was a journeyman grappler with star potential that just needed to find a place to nurture his gifts. Vince McMahon was the guy who saw the star quality and thankfully unleashed Stone Cold to the rest of the world. I can see the film, titled “Austin 3:16″, starting with his win at the King of the Ring that coined his trademark catch phrase and going through almost losing his career after a neck injury and reaching the top of the mountain with a WWF Title (not “E” but “F”) win at Wrestlemania 14. I’d laugh, I’d cry, I’d turn around and piledrive a guy. Movie MAGIC.
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