Kevin James as Sean Payton in Bountygate movie another Hollywood casting mistake | Marcase
It’s been an exciting week concerning all things cinematic in the Marcase household.
Friday, on the way home from an Easter vacation to Colorado and Utah, we stopped in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to eat lunch. While there, my two youngest sons, Cooper and Parker, were asked to be extras in a Lifetime Christmas movie, “Holiday in Santa Fe,” starring Mario Lopez.
While exciting, it also means I must now watch a Lifetime Christmas movie this December and hope the scene involving Cooper and Parker is not left in the editing room digital trash can.
However, the cinematic debut of the Marcase boys must take a backseat to the dramatic developments that took place Monday when news broke Kevin James, best known for the CBS comedy series “King of Queens,” would portray Saints coach Sean Payton in a movie about Bountygate.
Three things come to mind:
One, Kevin James as Sean Payton?
Two, a movie about Bountygate?
Three, Kevin James as Sean Payton? Really?
Talk about odd all the way around.
Actually, the movie isn’t so much about Bountygate and all the Saints were alleged to have done from 2009 to 2011. The NFL determined Saints’ front office personnel, coaches and players contributed to a pool of money that rewarded large hits by the defense or hits that resulted in injuries to opposing players.
The most notable punishment deriving from Bountygate was Payton’s suspension for the 2012 NFL season.
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No, the movie, “Home Team,” which is being produced by Netflix, will not focus on Bountygate but rather on Payton’s year off from the Saints when he helped coach his son Connor’s grade-school football team in Dallas, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King.
Relax, Saints fans, you don’t have to worry about who will play the villainous Greg Williams as New Orleans defensive coordinator, although you may have to wonder who will play the role of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The movie plot sounds interesting. Too bad the casting of James as Payton is a little far-fetched. It is akin to casting Tom Cruise to play LSU football coach Ed Orgeron.
Adam Sandler, whose production company is making the film, would’ve been a better casting choice. Thanks to his role in “Waterboy,” Sandler might be best suited to play both Payton and Orgeron, whose thick Cajun accent often trips up automated captioning.
You wonder who might play Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is sure to be mentioned a time or two in the film. During Payton’s exile to Dallas, speculation was rampant Jones longed to hire Payton, a former Cowboys assistant, as coach.
When it comes to sports movies and proper casting, Hollywood has a mixed record.
Sylvester Stallone was great as Rocky Balboa, but horrendous as Indy car driver Joe Tanto in the equally horrendous, “Driven.”
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Jackie Mason was tabbed to reprise a Rodney Dangerfield-like role in “Caddyshack II,” which just may be the worst sequel in movie history.
Ray Liotta was cast as Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams.” Despite the fact Liotta had never played baseball before, he was allowed to hit right-handed even though Shoeless Joe hit left-handed.
Sometimes, Hollywood strikes it right. Cruise was perfect in portraying the Tim Richmond-like character in “Days of Thunder” that helped launch NASCAR’s coast-to-coast popularity in the 1990s.
Matt Damon also was perfectly cast as iconic race car developer and builder Carroll Shelby in “Ford vs. Ferrari.”
Denzel Washington was great as football coach Herman Boone in “Remember the Titans,” but the sports role I would love to see Washington portray is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
Filming for “Home Team” is expected to start this year, and Payton has been a consultant, according to King.
No matter how successful or accurate the movie is, Saints fans hope there is never a need for a sequel.
John Marcase is a former assistant managing editor and sports editor of The Town Talk. He writes a weekly column.