After playing untold scores of vicious mobsters and intimidating fathers, Robert De Niro is now primed to take on a national icon: Vince Lombardi. Yesterday, ESPN announced the legendary actor will star in its TV movie, “Lombardi”. From the AP:
ESPN announced Tuesday that the Academy Award-winning actor has agreed to play the Hall of Fame coach in the film it is developing with Andell Entertainment and the NFL.
"Lombardi" will chronicle the years in which he transformed the Green Bay Packers from the NFL's worst team to league champions. It is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2012 during the weekend between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
Screenwriter Eric Roth, who won an Oscar for "Forrest Gump," has also signed on to the project. De Niro's Tribeca Productions will join the producing group. A director has yet to be chosen.
Roth also wrote “Benjamin Button,” but there’s no indication that Lombardi will reverse age into Brad Pitt for this movie.
ESPN has previouslymade TV movies about coaching icons, with Brian Dennehy as Bob Knight and Tom Berenger as Bear Bryant.