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Well here’s a curve ball. Peter King came up with a big scoop for his “Football Morning in America” column with Pro Football Talk, reporting that the actor Kevin James has been cast as Saints coach Sean Payton in a movie for Netflix, created by Happy Madison Productions. It’s titled “Home Team,” and begins filming this year. Here’s the plot summary from King’s report:
“Imagine this: The plotline begins in 2012, when Payton is suspended for the season by commissioner Roger Goodell for the Saints’ bounty scandal, which gives Payton the chance to re-assess his life and put it in some perspective. As part of his new life, Payton becomes the offensive coach for his son Connor’s sixth-grade football team, the Warriors, in the Dallas area. (Thus, the “Home Team” title of the flick.)”
King adds that Payton has already okayed the script after proof-reading it and offering his input. The Super Bowl-winning coach has spoken often about his one-year sabbatical, joking about the struggles of facing a single wing offense while coaching his son’s Pop Warner team (forcing him to call up his mentor Bill Parcells for advice) and the frustrations of watching games like any other fan from his recliner, filling notebooks with observations.
As for James: the veteran comedian and screenwriter was a high school wrestler and football player, and rose to prominence in the lead role on “King of Queens,” a long-running CBS sitcom. This move continues his string of successful comedies with Happy Madison Productions: founded by his friend and frequent collaborator Adam Sandler, Happy Madison has featured James in movies including “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (and its sequel), both “Grown Ups” ensembles, and a series of one-offs.
King did note that James may have to hit the weight room to accurately reflect Payton’s physique. Payton did come out of his suspension as a Crossfit junkie, even incorporating some of the techniques into the Saints’ conditioning drills, so maybe there’s some material there to build a subplot around. The film is still in pre-production, but we’ll keep an eye out once we know more about it and its cast. Maybe Sandler, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, or one of their other friends will cameo as Roger Goodell.