In a speedy turn of events since optioning the novel in May, Phoenix Pictures has signed Adam Shankman (Hairspray) to direct and J. Mills Goodloe to adapt the John Grisham best-selling novel Playing for Pizza. Phoenix’s Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer and David Thwaites will produce, with Shankman’s Offspring Entertainment. Shankman and producing partner Jennifer Gibgot will serve as executive producers. Project is a priority for the two companies, with Shankman intending it to be the next movie he directs.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Phoenix and John Grisham on this adaptation. I’ve been wanting to do an aggressive, adult, character dramedy for some time. Everyone in my life are insane football fanatics, so this project is a perfect, and organic story for me and my company. We can’t wait to get started,” said Shankman.
Medavoy added, “All of us at Phoenix are very excited to be working with Adam and Mills on this John Grisham book, which to us is reminiscent of films like ‘Jerry Maguire’ and ‘Bull Durham’.”
The story centers around a washed-up NFL quarterback who finds the only job available to him is on a semi-professional team in Italy and finds there is more to life than football.