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Kevin James is suiting up to star in the inspirational football-themed drama 44 for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.
The film is based on the true story of Joey Williams, a 44-year-old father of four from Tennessee who returned to college to complete his degree and fulfill a lifelong dream of playing collegiate football. In the process, he instead found himself competing alongside his college-aged son at the same university. The story is described as in the vein of another football-themed Alcon hit, 2009’s The Blind Side.
Christopher Parker (Heaven Is for Real, Mulan II) has been tapped to pen the script.
DeVon Franklin, no stranger to the uplifting-film genre with such pics as Miracles From Heaven and Heaven Is for Real under his belt, is producing alongside Todd Garner, Lisa Kors and James. Carl Rogers is overseeing the project for the studio.
Williams’ story originally caught the attention of Kors, who purchased the life rights to his story, following an NPR story on the the unlikely college athlete.
This project reunites Parker and Franklin, who previously worked together on Sony’s 2014 sleeper hit Heaven Is for Real. That film, which was made on a $12 million budget, went on to earn more than $100 million worldwide. Franklin has built a career shaping inspirational films for mainstream audiences like The Pursuit of Happyness, which he shepherded as an executive at Sony. The 44 deal was struck as Franklin successfully launched Miracles From Heaven, which has earned $22 million since its March 16 opening.
James, who starred on the long-running sitcom The King of Queens before becoming a comedy film star in such movies as Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Grown Ups, is set to return to the small screen with an untitled CBS comedy. He is repped by WME and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams.
Parker is handled by Gersh and Writ-Large. Williams is repped by Original Artists.
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