Friday Night Lights will get a feature film reboot from Universal, with David Gordon Green tapped to direct. Journalist Buzz Bissinger blew the lid off the world of big-time Texas high school football with his best-selling non-fiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream. In 2004, Friday Night Lights became a feature film starring Billy Bob Thornton and directed by Peter Berg.
After the film version of Friday Night Lights proved a modest financial success, grossing $61 million at the box office, Berg and NBC adapted the material for the small screen with Kyle Chandler in the role of head coach Eric Taylor. The series ran for five seasons, garnering nine Emmy nominations and two wins, including one for Chandler as Best Actor in a Drama. After the show went off air in 2011, there was talk of reviving the property as a film. However, that project was declared dead by Berg back in 2013.
Now Friday Night Lights will indeed return to the big screen, but instead of making a sequel to the film or continuing the TV series narrative, Universal will opt for a total reboot. As reported by Variety, Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green has been snagged to direct the rebooted film, which will be set in a different school and deal with all-new characters while still drawing from Bissinger's book.
Few directors in recent years have shown as much versatility as Green. After establishing himself in indies like George Washington, All the Real Girls and Undertow, Green began branching out into multiple genres, demonstrating an equal flair for comedy and drama. Green's big commercial breakout came with 2008's Pineapple Express, a stoner comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. Green would re-team with Franco for Your Highness, a maligned spoof that also starred frequent Green collaborator Danny McBride. The Green-McBride team would later pair for the HBO baseball series Eastbound & Down, and later this year they will release their Halloween sequel that ignores all the other sequels to John Carpenter's original.
We will have to wait and see what Green has in store with his take on Friday Night Lights. If it's anything like the TV series or first movie, there will be a mix of on-field action and character drama. Green certainly knows his way around character-driven dramatic material, as he proved again with last year's Stronger, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. Green also has a lot of personal familiarity with the Texas setting, having been born in Austin.