Last the world heard of the potential Friday Night Lights movie based on the acclaimed TV show of the same name, the news sounded promising. One of the stars of the prospective film, Connie Britton, said it was on track to happen, and reports were coming out that there might even be a Mike-Leach-inspired storyline. Fast forward to today, and thanks to a Details chat with Britton and Peter Berg, who directed the original FNL movie and co-created the TV series, a bit more information came out.
And if you want to see this movie happen, the news is still good. Britton sounded confident back in October, and she has even more reason to now:
I had a meeting at [FNL executive producer/showrunner] Jason Katims’ office the other day… and we were talking about something else and I said, “Forget about all that. Is this movie going to happen?” I was sitting on his couch, and he’s like, “Look behind you.” And I look behind me and it’s a wall with a big, huge corkboard on it with all these 3×5 cards. That’s what these writers do, they do the whole story on 3×5 cards. He’s like, “That’s the movie.”
Any number of issues with the project could still arise, of course, but the fact that the team that actually writes the material is working to get it off the ground can only be a good sign – as can the fact that Berg followed up Britton’s anecdote by saying, “We’re doing the movie.”
Also of note: whether or not the Leach plot happens, Berg hates Craig James. Berg said he got to know Leach after the coach had a cameo role during FNL’s fourth season on the air, so he followed the whole Adam James/Craig James/Texas Tech firing fiasco closely. It left him with this impression of James:
Craig James is a fucking scumbag, helicopter dad—and everything wrong with the culture I observed in Texas.
Not that having an extremely negative opinion of Craig James makes Berg different from… just about anyone, really, but still: strong words. As for excitement for the FNL movie among fans of the show, though, maybe it’s not as unanimous as one would think. I can only speak anecdotally, but while I remain excited at the prospect of a movie (I loved the show, if you couldn’t tell), I eagerly shared today’s development with our contributor Sarah Devlin, another huge FNL fan. This ensued:
Sarah: i feel ambivalent
me: ambivalent like, not sure it’ll actually happen, or ambivalent like not sure it’ll be good?
Sarah: the second one
i just felt really done w/ the characters
So there isn’t universal excitement. That’s not without reason: the show did wrap things up exceedingly well, and in a way that felt very final. Additionally, as viewers of the show’s second season will attest, FNL was capable of producing some duds. Great as the show was, excellence in the movie isn’t a guarantee.
But it’s a pretty good bet. The tremendous way the show wrapped things up suggested Katims and the creative team have more left in the tank. If they can get all the necessary cast members in place (especially Kyle Chandler), there’s a good bet this movie will be fantastic. That’s a bet I’m willing to make.