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Friendship Between Gale Sayers & Brian Piccolo Will Be Focus Of New Film (For The 3rd Time)

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 13, 2014 9:00 PM
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Gale Sayers, Brian Piccolo

Gale Sayers’ life rights and his memoirs, I Am Third and Sayers: My Life And Times, have been optioned by Nicholas Sparks' production company with the goal being to produce a feature film that will, not strictly tell Sayers' story, but instead one that will focus primarily on the friendship between Sayers and his friend and Chicago Bears teammate Brian Piccolo

You might recall the 1971 made-for-television movie, Brian's Song, which told the story of that friendship - one that shattered racial boundaries (Sayers is black and Piccolo, white, in case it's not obvious) - and Piccolo's final days. 

Gale Sayers was played by Billy Dee Williams in that film, and Piccolo, who died of cancer, was played by James Caan.

The film was based on a chapter in Sayers' autobiography, I Am Third, written with Al Silverman

30 years later, the film was remade with Sean Maher and Mekhi Phifer playing the lead roles.

So let's count this new production as a 3rd version of the story, based on a single chapter in Sayers' bio. I don't know about you folks, but I'd like to see a film based on Sayers' entire autobiography or memoir, and not just a single, although certainly significant chapter - especially when the story has been told twice already.

So it goes...

Nicholas Sparks and his production company partner Theresa Park, will produce, along with Michael Costigan of COTA Films.

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More: Mekhi Phifer, Billy Dee Williams

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  • Kalvin#1 | March 14, 2014 1:51 PMReply

    At this point, I don't want to see anything else about either man. Who cares about their "boundary-breaking" relationship, anyway? Not me. It's old news, and a waste of money to do this film. Enough with the biopics, already. Let's get some original material. What's next--a film about Nelson Mandela? MLK? Betty & Coretta? Red Tails? A slave? A marginalized, predominantly-black high school athletic team? A janitor who works his way up to the position of principal of an elementary school? Obama? My mama?

  • Troy | March 17, 2014 2:44 PM

    It's about the dichotomies of known character types. I don't support it but the simple minded people I know will be confused by my stories. It's okay they can watch films that don't make them think to hard but still be entertained. They don't want to be challenged they fight against reality daily. For the world they don't know is much bigger and scarier than the one they do. However reality provides an opportunity for artists to pierce the veil and open simple minds to a beautifully scary world that has more to offer than the world they know.

  • Miles Ellison | March 13, 2014 9:22 PMReply

    I guess that a movie about Gale Sayers is too much to ask for at this point.

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