FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sony Pictures Classics Adopts Ty Roberts’ 12 Mighty Orphans Starring Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw, and Robert Duvall
NEW YORK (January 19, 2021) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired worldwide rights in all media to 12 MIGHTY ORPHANS directed by Ty Roberts and starring Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw, Wayne Knight, Jake Austin Walker, Treat Williams, Ron White, Scott Haze, and Robert Duvall. This marks Sheen and Duvall’s first onscreen reunion since APOCALYPSE NOW. Adapted from Jim Dent’s bestselling book of the same name, the screenplay is written by Roberts, Lane Garrison and Kevin Meyer.
The film is produced by Houston Hill and Roberts of Santa Rita Film Co., along with Michael De Luca and Angelique De Luca of Michael De Luca Productions. Producer Brinton Bryan of Greenbelt Films helped arrange the financing, along with The Forest Road Company who provided additional funding. George M. Young, Jr., J. Todd Harris, Rhett Bennett and Greg McCabe executive produced.
12 MIGHTY ORPHANS tells the true story of the Mighty Mites, the football team of a Fort Worth orphanage who, during the Great Depression, went from playing without shoes—or even a football—to playing for the Texas state championships. The architect of their success was Rusty Russell, a legendary high school coach who shocked his colleagues by giving up his privileged position to teach and coach at the orphanage. Few knew Rusty's secret: that he himself was an orphan. Recognizing that his scrawny players couldn't beat the other teams with brawn, Rusty developed innovative strategies that would come to define modern football. Over the course of their winning season, these ultimate underdogs became an inspiration to their city, state, and entire nation.
“There is a reason underdog stories hold so much weight in the popular imagination, and we know the Mighty Mites’ true story of triumph over adversity—set in a time when much of the country was suffering—will lift the spirits of audiences worldwide. We are very excited to work with Ty on what promises to be an emotional and life-affirming film,” said Sony Pictures Classics.
“It is an honor to be working with Sony Classics to bring this inspirational true story to the big screen,” said Roberts. “The story of Rusty and his underdog Orphans helped pull the country out of the Great Depression, and I know that it will be just as uplifting for audiences today.
The deal was negotiated by CAA Global Finance on behalf Santa Rita Film Co.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992—which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world. Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 39 Academy Awards® (35 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 175 Academy Award® nominations (149 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, WHIPLASH, AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
ABOUT SANTA RITA FILM CO.
Santa Rita Film Co., headed up by partners Ty Roberts, Houston Hill and Greg McCabe, is a newly launched Texas production company that focuses on developing character-driven features and series. SRFC is currently raising a development fund; next projects in the pipeline are Robert's adaptation of Joshua Hammer's THE FALCON THIEF, the story of the real life con man who became the world's most successful thief of rare birds, as well as ANGELS IN EAST TEXAS, the inspirational true story of how a student play transformed a Bible Belt community, from director John Krokidas (KILL YOUR DARLINGS).
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.