Angelo Pizzo, the screenwriter behind some of the most beloved sports films of all time, Hoosiers and Rudy, is set to script a new sports film in the form of an adaptation of Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins’ highly-acclaimed book, The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, A People, A Nation. This is the first film property optioned by Ray Halbritter through his Standing Arrow Productions banner, which launched this past February.
“I have been a long-time admirer of Angelo Pizzo’s brilliant and iconic work,” Halbritter said in a statement to Variety. “Hoosiers and Rudy melded sports with human drama to inspire millions…and that is our intent with The Real All Americans. Standing Arrow Productions has found the perfect writer to begin our cinematic journey.”
The book follows the true story of the Carlisle Indian School football team, which was considered the most innovative and successful football program in the United States in the early 20th century. The book explores the team’s history, the racial and political bigotry that they faced, and the violent attempt to decimate a culture and the birth of a game that has thrilled Americans for generations.
“I am more than excited to be asked to tackle the Carlisle Indian Industrial School story,” Pizzo said. “I’ve been fascinated by this most compelling and inspiring tale since I read my first biography of Jim Thorpe as a boy. Sally Jenkins’ book, The Real All Americans, creates a context and perspective that elevates this unique period of history well beyond just another sports story. I am looking forward to working with Ray Halbritter, whom I’ve admired for his successful efforts to eliminate derogatory sports mascots and team names that negatively affect Native American sensibilities and identity. My goal with this project is two-fold: to create a script that both honors the Native American community while crafting a story of enduring and universal appeal much like Hoosiers and Rudy.”