SBD/April 11, 2014/Franchises

"Draft Day" Director Says Jets Pulled Out Of Role In Film, But Team Denies

Reitman (r) worked a personal connection to the Seahawks to get them in the film
The Jets were "scheduled to play a key role" in the new football-themed movie "Draft Day," but the club "pulled out just a few days before shooting was set to begin last year," according to Steven Zeitchik of the L.A. TIMES. Director Ivan Reitman said, "They were having something of a quarterback dispute, and the team said that this is just going to incite our fans a little more to criticize us, even though it’s all fictional." Desperate, Reitman "worked a personal connection to the Seahawks' ownership, and they joined just days before shooting was to begin" (L.A. TIMES, 4/11). However, ESPN N.Y.'s Rich Cimini cites a source as saying that the Jets were "open to participating in the movie, but they expressed hesitancy because the original script portrayed their fans in a negative light." The source said that when team execs "got back to the producers to discuss possible changes to the script, the Jets were told they were out of the picture." The source added that the team's reluctance to participate "had nothing to do with its uncertain quarterback situation." The Seahawks "apparently had no problem allowing themselves to get fleeced" by the Browns' fictional GM, played by Kevin Costner. Cimini: "Obviously, it didn't ruin the Seahawks' karma" (ESPNNY.com, 4/11).

AMERICA'S FANTASY TEAM: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel wrote the Cowboys "are not what they once were," but "Draft Day" is proof that the "clout and charm of their owner still carries a significant amount of weight." It is "not a coincidence" that the Cowboys "are treated with reverence" in the film. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is "friendly with" Reitman and Costner (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/10).
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