Scrolling endlessly through Netflix and HBO, looking for new movies to watch, sparked an idea: What are the movies I would definitely watch, but haven’t been made yet?
Ultimately, movies about the greatest athletes are often disappointing. Both William Bendix and John Goodman flailing about in “The Babe Ruth Story” and “The Babe,” respectively, failed because neither could credibly look the part of a world-class athlete. “Pride of the Yankees” starred a much more believable Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig, whose story is much more compelling and tragic.You need a story with some conflict, but a first-rate actor helps.
With that in mind, here are some sports stories that could make truly compelling flicks, and some stars who could carry the stories:
The Eagles and their crazy fans have been represented well in Hollywood movies, including “Invincible” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” A movie about the perennial also-ran franchise and frustrated (and much-maligned) fans finally winning it all—thanks to backup quarterback Nick Foles leading the way in an upset over the Patriots—sounds good to me.
One of hockey’s all-time greats. He was on the losing side of “Miracle on Ice” in 1980, and became arguably the greatest defenseman in the world in the Soviet Union. Later, he jeopardized his career to fight against the corrupt Soviet system and led the way for Russian players to join the NHL. At age 38, he won the Stanley Cup as part of the famed “Russian Five” with the Detroit Red Wings.
Played by Michael Fassbender
A terrific feel-good story about the man who became a star major league pitcher—and threw a no-hitter—despite being born with one hand. He even threw a no-hitter with the Yankees in 1993.
Played by Liam Hemsworth
A transcendent talent who became the most reviled man in America after his arrest for running a dog-fighting ring. He served his sentence—21 months in a federal penitentiary—and improbably resuscitated his career and rehabbed his image. He even became a respected team leader with the Eagles who was also popular in the community, at least in Philadelphia.
Played by Michael B. Jordan
Perhaps the Kaepernick story needs more time to play out, but there’s a great film to be made about the most polarizing (and arguably most misunderstood) American sports figure of recent times.
Played by Anthony Mackie
He’s the son of a French tennis player and a Swedish Miss Universe contestant. He won two NCAA titles at Florida and was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. While an impressive resume, that’s arguably not enough to be the subject of a feature film, but we need an excuse to get Jason Momoa in a sports film at some point.
Member of the “Fearsome Foursome,” bodyguard for Bobby Kennedy who subdued his assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. Wrote a book called “Needlepoint for Men.” An ordained minister who held a Bible study session with jailed O.J. Simpson and testified at his criminal trial.
Played by Laurence Fishburne