Jim Neveau, Blackhawks Correspondent
Author’s Note: This is a humor piece, not an actual report. If this were an actual report, instructions for a boycott would immediately follow.
With the dearth of good films coming out of Hollywood these days, it seems as though film producers and executives are turning to the NHL for a little bit of inspiration.
A screenplay is currently being hammered out, and preliminary casting has been done for a film based on the current plight of the Phoenix Coyotes. The film, tentatively titled “Nights in Hamilton”, will be released before next season begins, according to Universal executives.
The movie will focus mainly on the narrative surrounding the Coyotes’ potential move from Phoenix, and Jim Balsillie’s efforts to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario. Also featured will be some inner dramas between Jerry Moyes and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Wayne Gretzky’s relationship with his wife will be explored, and Jerry Reinsdorf’s failed bid will be an important element as well.
With the story still unfolding, it may seem foolish to create a movie based on it, but company executives insist there is enough of a story here to move forward with the project, much like the Jimmy Fallon film “Fever Pitch”, which was filmed during the course of a real Boston Red Sox season, and had to have its ending re-worked when the Red Sox actually won the World Series.
Casting, while still on-going, has nailed down a lot of the bigger roles in the film, according to sources. An anonymous source has revealed that John Turturro will portray NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in the film, and will receive co-top billing along with Gene Hackman, who will play Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes in the film.
The crucial role of Blackberry CEO Jim Balisillie is going to a renowned actor, who is very picky with his films. Daniel Day-Lewis has agreed to portray the executive, and is already extensively preparing for the role by sitting in on board meetings and talking on a cell-phone for hours on end.
Jerry Reinsdorf is rumored to be portrayed by Jeffery Tambor, but sources have been unable to officially confirm his role in the film.
Wayne Gretzky will be played by Paul Bettany, and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will be played by Steve Wilkos, in an interesting casting move to say the least.
Director James Cameron, fresh off filming his new epic “Avatar”, will be counted upon to head up the project. “Being from Canada, it just makes sense to me to make a movie about hockey,” Cameron said. “It will be nice to un-wind from the whirl-wind of making a film like ‘Avatar’ , and I’m expecting a very relaxed shoot.”
Filming is set to begin in November, with a release date expected around September 2010.