EXCLUSIVE: Village Roadshow is teaming with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts to develop a film based on New York Times bestselling-author Don Yaeger’s Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South as a USC Original Film, a new initiative designed to support emerging and diverse filmmakers. This partnership supports Village Roadshow’s aim to consistently source fresh voices, and to support the next generation of innovators.
“We could not be more thrilled to partner with USC and Dean Daley to tell this unbelievable true story. Our ongoing initiatives at Village Roadshow Pictures align with the strong social message of this project and allow us to foster a creative environment for the future of filmmakers,” said Village Roadshow CEO Steve Mosko.
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Under the guidance of veteran producer and USC professor John Watson, VRP has assembled a small group of recent USC alumni to collaborate on the screenplay over a fifteen-week period. The film will be written by Nick Brooks, James Grisom, c. Craig Patterson, Erica Sutherlin, and LaDarius Torrey. Watson will also produce.
Co-written by USC fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham and defensive captain John Papadakis, the book tells the electrifying true story of the event that changed college football forever—the first integrated football game in Alabama history, played on Crimson soil in September 1970. Legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s Tide was the all-white national powerhouse in the SEC; and the USC Trojans, coached by John McKay, featured an all-Black starting backfield that reflected the social changes sweeping the nation.
“This project is an example of a new way to create content and develop material,” says USC’s Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts, Elizabeth Daley. “With multiple writers collaborating on the screenplay, the project models the television writer’s room approach which enables more voices to have a seat at the table. We are thrilled to partner with Village Roadshow Pictures and look forward to seeing what these talented screenwriters achieve.”
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