AFM: Saban Scores North American, U.K. Rights for 'Under The Stadium Lights' (Exclusive)

Laurence Fishburne - Getty - H 2020
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Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne stars in the true-life football drama about an underdog West Texas team that wins the state championship. 

Saban Films have snatched rights in North America and U.K. for Under the Stadium Lights (aka Brother's Keeper), a real-life football drama starring Oscar-nominee Laurence Fishburne. 

Under the Stadium Lights tells the true story of the 2009 West Texas Abilene High School football team, the Eagles,  who, against all odds, went on to win their state championship. The film is based on the 2010 non-fiction book Brother's Keeper: The Story of the 2009 Abilene High State Championship by sportswriter Al Pickett and the Abilene High School chaplain Chad Mitchell.  

Fishburne plays local barbecue restaurant owner, and die-hard Eagles fan, Harold Christian. Milo Gibson, Abigail Hawk, and Glenn Morshower co-star. John Collins and Hamid Torabpour adapted the book for the screen. Todd Randall directs in his feature debut. Producers are Hamid and Camille Torabpour, Mark Smith, and Stelio Savante.

"Our audiences will love the true and inspirational story behind Under the Stadium Lights," said Saban Films CEO Bill Bromiley. "The actors bring heart to a tale that is ready to be told to the world."

Steven Break negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with Film Bridge International’s Jordan Dykstra and Ellen Wander on behalf of filmmakers. 

Saban has had a busy American Film Market. Earlier this week, the group snatched up a pair of genre titles from Constantin Film, taking North American and U.K. rights to director Tim Fehlbaum's sci-fi thriller Tides, and North American rights for horror reboot Wrong Turn; as well as North American rights on Jaume Balagueró’s heist thriller The Vault starring Famke Janssen, Sam Riley, and Freddie Highmore.

Last month, Saban signed a distribution partnership with U.K. indie Altitude Media Group which the aim of jointly releasing 10-12 titles a year in the U.K. and Ireland. 

Saban's background in home entertainment has proved a major asset during the COVID-19 lockdown, with the ancillary market booming even as many cinemas shut down. Saban, however, is also doing opportunistic theatrical releases for its films, including holiday-themed comedy Fatman, starring Mel Gibson, which hits U.S. theaters this weekend in limited release.