Michael Fleming‘s Variety story about Jake Gyllenhaal agreeing to play famed quarterback Joe Namath put me to sleep when I read it two days ago. The fact that Namath was “the first football player to find rock-star status” means zip in terms of a strong story ingredient. I remember Namath and the reports about his big-star swagger — fame, girls, money, endorsements. But nothing happened in his life that would make for strong drama.
The most exciting thing that happened in Namath’s life was beating the Colts in the ’69 Super Bowl. But a win has to be more than just a win. It has to mean something above and beyond.
It is slightly more interesting, frankly, to read about the alleged mile-high incident between Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon on their way back from Europe two or three weeks ago. They spent a reported 11 minutes in the first-class bathroom. I would rather see a short film about this than a feature about Broadway Joe any day.
There’s going a huge hair problem with the Namath film, by the way. For a film set in the ’60s and ’70s, Gyllenhaal will be obliged to wear something similar to an Anton Chigurh haircut. Think about that for a second.