EXCLUSIVE: Four-time Emmy winner Will Ferrell (Spirited) is in early talks to star as the NFL’s John Madden in Madden, a new film to be directed for Amazon/MGM by five-time Oscar nominee David O. Russell (American Hustle), multiple sources tell Leak Herald.
Amazon had no comment.
Based on a script by Cambron Clark, which was named to The Black List last year, Madden picks up with the legendarily fiery coach after his exit from the NFL, as he teams with Electronic Arts to become the unlikely co-creator of a pioneering video game franchise.
The project hailing from Escape Artists will be produced for the studio by Todd Black.
Ferrell has most recently been seen in two high-profile projects from Apple TV+: the popular holiday musical comedy Spirited and the miniseries The Shrink Next Door. He plays a Mattel CEO in Greta Gerwig’s buzzy Warner Bros pic Barbie, out July 21st, and voices the Border Terrier Reggie in Universal’s R-rated comedy Strays, due August 18th. Among other upcoming projects for the multi-hyphenate — who has recently produced Searchlight’s Sundance acquisition Theater Camp and the Cannes-premiering romantic drama May December, recently swooped up by Netflix in a rare North America-only deal — is the Prime Video comedy You’re Cordially Invited, which will have him sharing the screen with Reese Witherspoon.
Most recently writing, directing and producing such starry titles as Amsterdam and Joy, Russell prior to that wrote and directed American Hustle, which scored 10 Oscar nominations, and Silver Linings Playbook, which brought Lawrence her first win. Also coming up for the filmmaker is Super Toys, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Keke Palmer, which he will direct from his own script.
Ferrell is repped by UTA, Mosaic and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Russell by CAA and Gang, Tyre, Ramer; and Clark by CAA and Epicenter.