Sports Drama ‘McFarland’ Back on Track at Disney

Exclusive: Grant Thompson rewrote the script, based on an L.A. Times article from 1997.

EXCLUSIVE

"McFarland," a sports story acquired by Disney years ago, has been resurrected as a Mayhem Pictures project.  

Actor and writer Grant Thompson wrote the latest version of the script.

The movie, originally called “The Boys of McFarland,” is based on a 1997 Los Angeles Times article about a high school coach in McFarland, Calif., who tried to inspire students by forming a cross-country team. 

Christopher Cleveland wrote the original adaptation. That version never was made.

Years later, Disney production chief Sean Bailey decided the story ought to be told. The studio then enlisted Thompson to rewrite the tale based on the old newspaper article.

Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi are producing "McFarland." 

Mayhem is also producing "The Throwback," the true story of Frank and Isaac Gildea, the only father-and-son duo to play college basketball together. It also is known for "Secretariat," the 2010 movie about the racehorse.

Thompson has appeared in "National Treasure 2," "Blades of Glory" and "Bring It On.” He co-wrote "Cancun," a Taylor Lautner project in development at Summit, with Eric Champnella.

Thompson is repped by ICM, Madhouse Entertainment and the law firm Nelson Davis Wetzstein, LLP.

ItsontheGrid.com, a sister publication to TheWrap, contributed to this report.