March 28, 2012

AMC develops Carlisle football drama

AMC Developing Football Drama 'The Real All Americans' (Exclusive)

By Marisa GuthrieAMC is in the early stages of development on football drama The Real All Americans. Based on Sally Jenkins’ book about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Penn., All Americans chronicles the school's storied football program created by U.S. cavalry officer Richard Henry Pratt, an abolitionist and early equal rights proponent who made a harrowing journey to the Dakota Territory in 1879 to recruit the school's first students.

Producers are in discussions with Tommy Lee Jones to direct the pilot if AMC moves forward. Nicholas Meyer, best known as the writer of various Star Trek films, is writing the script with Harry J. Ufland (the upcoming Robert De Niro-Diane Keaton romantic comedy The Wedding) on board as producer.

Pratt’s football program had a stunning record of 167-88-13 and produced a string of famous athletes and coaches–including Olympian Jim Thorpe and coach Glenn “Pop” Warner. The subject matter is close to Jones’ heart. The actor, who grew up in Texas, is of Cherokee descent. He also played defensive tackle at Harvard, where he was a 1968 All-Ivy League nominee and played in the infamous ’68 Harvard-Yale game that featured a stunning 16-point Harvard comeback in the final minute. Jones recounted the story for the 2008 documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.

All Americans would give AMC another period piece and also one that deals with racial issues. Hell on Wheels is set in 1865 during the post-Civil War construction of the first transcontinental railroad.
Comment:  Carlisle was a school full of Native students and staff members. So what are the odds that the majority of the actors will be Native?

I wouldn't bet a lot of money on it. Instead, I'd bet on most of the adults and at least half the students being non-Native. For Indians, they'll probably use Latinos, Asians, and other slightly "exotic" actors.

Will they at least do the minimum and cast an Indian as Jim Thorpe? Again, I wouldn't bet on it. This is where they bring in a Johnny Depp or Brandon give white audiences "someone to relate to." Because Indians are too brown strange unfamiliar to mainstream society, I guess.

For more on Jim Thorpe, see Review of Jim Thorpe: World's Greatest Athlete and Battle for Jim Thorpe's Body.

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