John Green producing British soccer movie
FilmRise buys horse docu ‘Harry and Snowman’
LOS ANGELES, April 1, (RTRS): Fox 2000 is developing a British soccer movie with “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green, Rosianna Halse Rojas and Temple Hill Entertainment.
The story centers on the AFC Wimbledon’s origins in 2002 and how, over the course of just a few years, a rag-tag group of underdogs managed to climb five tiers and become a professional team in the Football League.
Temple Hill, which produced the hit 2014 movie “The Fault in Our Stars,” and Green both have firstlook deals at the studio.
Erin Siminoff and Molly Saffron are overseeing the project for Fox 2000, while Isaac Klausner is over- seeing for Temple Hill.
The club’s origins stem from Wimbledon FC, one of the oldest and most storied British football organizations, being moved 56 miles north to Milton Keynes in 2002, despite massive opposition. In response, a group of diehard fans decided to start a new amateur club from scratch at the bottom of the ninth tier — with the aim of the newly formed AFC Wimbledon always being owned by its fans.
He also described the project in a post titled “The Greatest Sports Story Never Told” on Medium.
“Most of my professional life has been devoted to telling stories for and about teenagers,” he wrote. “But after my novels ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Paper Towns’ were adapted into movies, I pitched the producers (Temple Hill) and studio (Fox 2000) of those movies a somewhat different story, about the greatest underdog sports story you’ve never heard, starring a bunch of middle-aged people with absolutely no athletic talent. And today, an agreement was announced, so I wanted to drop by Medium and explain why my next film project is about not American teenagers, but a lower league English football club.”
Green was an executive producer on Fox’s 2015 adaptation of his novel “Paper Towns,” which Temple Hill produced.
An adaptation of his novel “Looking for Alaska” has been in development at Paramount for sev- eral years with Rebecca Thomas coming on board to direct last June. Temple Hill is also producing.
FilmRise has acquired exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the horse-jumping documentary “Harry & Snowman” and plans a theatrical release in September.
The story centers on Harry de Leyer and a broken-down Amish plow-horse named Snowman winning the triple crown of show jumping in 1958 at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. De Leyer had purchased Snowman just two years earlier for $80 off a truck bound for the glue factory.
The story was the subject of Robert Montgomery’s 1962 book “Snowman,” which is being republished by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, and of Elizabeth Letts’ “The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation.” Letts’ book was optioned in 2014 by MGM.
Dubbed “The Cinderella Horse,” Snowman still holds the American record for the high jump. The film, in which the 86-year-old de Leyer provides a first-hand account, has played at 18 festivals across the US and won 10 audience awards.
Producers are Ron Davis, Karin Reid Offield and Paul Blavin of Graceful Light Entertainment.
“We are delighted to announce our acquisition of this touching, exhilarating film that not only tells a remarkable true story but also sheds an important light on animal rescue,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise. “We are confident that the film will prove a crowd-pleaser when it hits theaters this fall.”
Kevin Bacon has joined the cast of CBS Films and Lionsgate’s Boston Marathon bombing thriller “Patriots Day” starring Mark Wahlberg.
John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan and J.K. Simmons will also star. The movie will be directed by Peter Berg from a script by Matt Charman. Wahlberg, Scott Stuber, Hutch Parker, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, Michael Radutzky and Dorothy Aufiero are producing.