When the Game Stands Tall

Drama film

The film even had the support of a former De La Salle player himself, Maurice Jones Drew, who has a cameo in the film.

It has been called one of the greatest sports stories ever told – but the tale of coaching legend and his team's incredible run of victories, known as “the streak,” is about far more than the thrill of sports. Inspired by the , When the comes to the screen as a heart-stirring drama starring as Bob Ladouceur, Golden Globe® winner Laura Dern as Bev Ladouceur, Michael Chiklis, Alexander Ludwig, and a cast of exciting newcomers as the legendary young Spartans.

The film even had the support of a former De La Salle player himself, Maurice Jones Drew, who has a cameo in the film.

The film even had the support of a former De La Salle player himself, Maurice Jones Drew, who has a cameo in the film.

Like all the greatest sports stories, the true-life tale of the man known as “” and his De La Salle Spartans was about reaching for the limits of human achievement. That's what drew producer David Zelon, who previously produced the rousing comeback tale Soul Surfer, to the story. He came across it quite unexpectedly, while cleaning out the equipment room at his football player son's high school, where he spied an abandoned copy of Neil Hayes' book about Ladouceur, also titled When the Game Stands Tall. Intrigued, Zelon read a few pages. Thirty pages in, the producer was ready to hunt down the film rights no matter what it would take.

Screenwriter Scott Marshall Smith came on board to streamline the story with Zelon into a taut cinematic experience, mixing sports suspense with the stories of uplifting lives that have defined Coach Lad as a man. When it came to choosing a director, Zelon already had one in mind: , whose films include the musical drama Swing Kids, the dance-themed romantic drama Save the Last Dance and Coach Carter, the inspiring story of an inner-city basketball team.

To bring all that to life, the filmmakers approached an actor who already possessed some of those same characteristics: Jim Caviezel, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Caviezel not only had the personality and the acting credentials, he also hailed from an deeply athletic family, with a father who played basketball for John Wooden at UCLA. He himself once dreamed of an NBA career, before an injury halted it.

Immersing himself into the role, Caviezel was glad to have director Thomas Carter supporting him. “He's someone who tells you things straight up,” Caviezel describes. “He has a toughness and a strength that this film required.

When Coach Lad suffers the consequences with a near-fatal heart attack, it is his steadfast wife, Bev, who brings him back to what really counts. Taking the vital role is one of today's most diverse actresses: Oscar®-nominated and three-time Golden Globe® Award-winning actress Laura Dern,

To do the Spartans full athletic justice, director Thomas Carter brought in Allan Graf, who is rapidly becoming a legend in sports movies.

The entirety of When the Game Stands Tall was shot over the course of 41 days in New Orleans, Louisiana. Not surprisingly, the shoot took place in several area high schools. With a strong local football culture, the cast and crew felt right at home. “Louisiana is a great place to shoot a movie,” sums up Zelon. “And it's a great football state.”

 

Share this article: When the Game Stands Tall

Facebook
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Twitter
Email

MORE TOPICS

Fifty Shades of Grey

On the surface, “Fifty Shades of Grey” explores the burgeoning relationship between enigmatic 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and sexually uninitiated college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).

X-Men: Apocalypse

Following his acclaimed work on X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, director Bryan Singer takes the franchise to new heights with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, in which the X-Men battle the original and most powerful mutant — Apocalypse

A Revealing Retrospective Review of The Social Network 2010

The film might not be perfectly factual in its storytelling, but it’s indeed emotionally true. It captures the complex humans behind the world-changing technology, presenting a fascinating look at ambition, betrayal, and the price of unprecedented success.

Understanding the Key Roles of a Movie Crew

The roles within a movie crew are as diverse as they are critical. Like the cogs in a wheel, each member of the crew contributes to the moving machine that is film production, operating in harmony with the others to create the working entirety.

The Martian

The Martian by director Ridley Scott tells the story of Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), During a manned mission to Mars, who is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet.