John Madden Series Huddle; Tom Brady makes the signal call with Gavin O’Connor, Todd Lieberman, Gotham Chopra’s biopic who was the soundtrack to any football fan’s life

Exclusive: John Madden’s career will be the subject of a limited series directed by Gavin O’Connor and produced by Alex Sohn (Vegas) telling the life story of the Hall of Fame Raiders head coach, groundbreaking broadcaster and video game icon is Todd Lieberman’s Hidden Pictures, Lit Entertainment Group’s Adam Kolbrenner, Religion of Sports’ Gotham Chopra, Ryan Stowell and Tom Brady’s 19 Productions.

The latter’s appearance as an EP was particularly important to Madden’s family as they committed their lives to the project. The filmmakers will find a broadcast partner once they finish scripted episodes, and then they’ll find their Madden.

“If dad was still around, and he was looking for some people to tell his story, he’d be thrilled to have Tom Brady lead the huddle,” Mike Madden said.

Todd Lieberman and Gotham Chopra

Getty Images

They will produce All Madden in collaboration with the late Madden’s family, Sandy Montag and The Montag Group. In addition to hit films like The Accountant, O’Connor is known for sports-themed fare including The Way Back, The MMA drama Warrior, and Miracle, the follow-up story of Herb Brooks, who coaches a team of amateur hockey players to Olympic gold. Medal on the undefeated Soviet Union team.

The series chronicles the incredible life and career of the NFL icon and his rise from humble beginnings to leave an indelible mark on football, broadcasting, video games and pop culture. But behind a legendary and larger-than-life coaching career that includes a Super Bowl XL victory, and an on-camera reputation for talking to the average fan — he’s won 16 Emmy Awards — Madden is a simple but highly intelligent man; With an unwavering commitment to excellence, he ultimately seeks connection with people on a human level.

“I grew up admiring John Madden, first as a coach, then as a commentator. I loved John’s passion for the game, especially his insatiable hunger to educate audiences about football. He greeted fans with that warm smile, contagious laugh and exceptional knowledge of the game, making everyone feel as if John was watching the broadcast right next to them on their living room couch,” said Tom Brady. “On behalf of 199 Productions, I am Virginia and Mike Madden, Religion of Sports is honored to collaborate with my co-founder, Gotham Chopra and the rest of the creative team, to tell the iconic story of a family man who revolutionized not just the game but the culture of football.

The project began as a feature film, but like Madden, his life and contributions to America’s most popular sport were too big for a two-hour treatment.

John Madden

John Madden in the mid-90s

Courtesy of Fox Sports

“Initially when the conversation started, we were going to do it as a film but as Alex and I climbed deeper into John’s life, it just became clear that it was impossible to reduce his football life to a two-hour film. When you look at his contributions on the field as a football coach, to the transformation of two industries, broadcasting and video games, I didn’t know how to do it in two hours. How many episodes? It will be dictated by the story, but those are the three football businesses we’re going to explore.”

It’s always been football for Madden, but his course has shifted away from his original purpose of becoming one of those linemen he’ll celebrate in the broadcast booth.

“He was drafted by the Eagles and he blew out his knee in camp his rookie year, so he never actually got on the field. He began spending a lot of time in the film room with Eagles quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, who became one of his mentors and taught him to look at football very differently than as an offensive lineman.

Which took him to the top of the coaching profession.

“At age 32, Al Davis offered him a job coaching the Raiders. He coached there for 10 years, winning seven AFC or AFL title games and one Super Bowl. He never had a losing season and was the youngest coach to 100 wins, and at 42, burned by an ulcer, the job took its toll on him and he never returned to the sidelines.

Facing his second career setback, Madden’s outgoing personality saved him.

He worked in real estate for a day or two and realized it wasn’t the path he wanted to take. He studied football for one semester at Berkeley. It all came from a place of wanting to teach football. The second act of his life came on air. It’s a natural next step for some retired former players, but when he wants to get into the broadcast booth, the man blows it off. When he started he was very stiff and uncertain, not polished at all, and then he decided not to be one of those coiffed broadcast guys, what I call ‘the hairdos’. He did it in a way that just reflected his personality, a regular guy who was calling a game like you would if you were talking to your friends at a bar. He and Pat Summerall would become the soundtrack to the NFL.

Tarducken, the telestrator, delivers information in a down-to-earth manner and people respond. Then came the commercials, Miller, bursting with paper masks for Light Beer from Tinactin, he did a video with U2, a best-selling book. It was endless. and Madden Cruiser.”

A fully equipped bus later became Madden’s transportation to any game he was broadcasting on a given week.

John Madden and Pat Summerall with the Lombardi Trophy from the Super Bowl in 1997

Everett Collection

“He had a fear of flying, but when he was a coach he had to fly, but once he became a broadcaster he never got on a plane or took a train again. He was claustrophobic with a fear of flying, and once that bus was introduced to him, it Just turned into traveling with John.”

They haven’t set the episode count yet, because they’re still in deep dive mode with the Madden family.

“First thing, Alex and I are mapping out how we tell three acts of his life story. John found what he loved, but it came at a great cost to his family. We met with John’s family, and we were clear that we had to pull back the curtain. Want. We know the moments of Wikipedia, but what behind the scenes, the cost of these decisions? They share many of their stories with us.

Then we figure it out and look for a partner. His son Joe played at Brown and Mike played at Harvard. I played at Penn at the same time, and we played against each other, but John didn’t get to see them play because the seasons conflicted with his work.”

Eventually, despite never having played a video game, Madden became a billion dollar video game star.

“He didn’t know anything about video games, but he saw computerized football as a way to educate the fans and that’s the only reason he did it. He didn’t know anything about video games. These kids who don’t know anything about the Raiders team or his NFL career, kids. Recognize him as the voice coming out of that console.”

Alex Young, president of Hidden Pictures, will co-produce with David Glickman, Kendrick Tan and Sean Sansiverri. Henry Chetham will oversee the Religion of Sports project.

O’Connor is repped by WME and Yorn Levin Barnes; Sohn is Lit Entertainment Group, Paradigm and Lichter Grossman Nichols; Chopra at WME. Tom Brady is repped by WME and Latham & Watkins. Hidden images are WME and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.

! function(f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {
if (f.fbq) return;
n = f.fbq = function() {
n.callMethod ? n.callMethod.apply(n, arguments) : n.queue.push(arguments)
if (!f._fbq) f._fbq = n;
n.push = n;
n.loaded = !0;
n.version = ‘2.0’;
n.queue = [];
t = b.createElement(e);
t.async = !0;
t.src = v;
s = b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t, s)
}(window, document, ‘script’, ‘’);
fbq(‘init’, ‘422369225140645’);
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *