According to sources at Deadline, Will Ferrell is in talks to play none other than NFL legend John Madden in the upcoming theatrical feature Madden, directed by David O. Russell. The film has been in the works for some time and is a Prime Video Sports Original that tells the story of one of the most iconic figures to ever grace an NFL sideline.
The script, written by Cambron Clark and featured on the Black List, centers around Madden's life as a head coach and his friendship with Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. The film explores how the stress of the job pushed Madden away from coaching, but he found a second act that made him far more famous. Madden redefined the notion of the football broadcaster with an outsized personality that led to a big endorsement career for brands like Lite Beer from Miller, Tinactin, and other products. He also became the figurehead for Madden NFL, a perennial top seller that this fall gets its 24th incarnation through Electronic Arts. Madden is produced by Escape Artists' Todd Black, Jonathan Shukat, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants. The expectation is that the NFL will embrace the film on one of the sport's most beloved figures.
Ferrell, known for his hilarious performances in films like Anchorman and Step Brothers, has most recently been seen in two high-profile projects from Apple TV+. He plays a Mattel CEO in the highly anticipated Warner Bros. pic Barbie, out July 21st, and voices the Border Terrier Reggie in Universal's R-rated comedy Strays, due August 18th. Among other upcoming projects for the multi-hyphenate are the Prime Video comedy You're Cordially Invited, which will have him sharing the screen with Reese Witherspoon.
Five-time Oscar nominee David O. Russell, who wrote and directed American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook, is attached to direct Madden. He is also coming off Amsterdam and Joy and will soon direct Super Toys, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Keke Palmer. This news has got us all hyped up to see Ferrell take on the role of Madden in what promises to be an unforgettable film. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project!