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Barry Josephson and his Josephson Entertainment banner are partnering with West Omaha Films to produce The Magician, a biopic of Marlin “The Magician” Briscoe, pro football’s first black starting quarterback.
Gregory Allen Howard, who penned the football movie Remember the Titans and worked on Ali, wrote the script detailing Briscoe’s rise to the top, his meteoric fall and his journey to self-fulfillment.
Briscoe broke the color barrier in pro football when he landed with the Denver Broncos as a 14th round draft pick in 1968 and became their starting QB. He finished his first season with 14 touchdown passes, a team rookie record that still remains. His career took him to the Buffalo Bills as a receiver before he became an integral member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in NFL history to go undefeated.
When he left the league, Briscoe became addicted to drugs, which caused him to lose his home and forced him to auction off his Super Bowl rings. He also served time in jail. Briscoe rebounded by becoming a mentor for the Boys & Girls Club in Long Beach, Calif., and starting his own football camp for kids.
“It’s an unbelievable, inspirational story of perseverance, determination and hope. It’s important that a story inspires, and Greg Howard has done just that… viewers will relate to The Magician in one way or another,” Josephson says.
“I said I’d never do another football movie, but the Marlin Briscoe story is not a football movie,” said Howard. “It is a Shakespearean tale of hope, shattered dreams and redemption.”
Josephson will produce with partner Doug Falconer along with West Omaha’s John Beasley, David B. Clark and Terry Hanna.
Josephson is best known for producer Enchanted, the Oscar-nominated Disney hit movie starring Amy Adams, and Life as We Know It. The producer, who acted as Columbia’s president of production and made movies such as Men in Black and Air Force One before going into producing, also exec produces the long-running Fox series Bones.
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