They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that saying definitely applies to football, America’s most popular sport. Football is a way of life for many Americans, and although its popularity has never taken off worldwide, football’s portrayal in TV and film has propelled the sport to a global viewpoint. Although films like Any Given Sunday or Remember the Titans beautifully capture the beloved sport, Friday Night Lights remains one of the most memorable football adaptations to this day. With fans of the high school football story hopeful that over the years the project would have its revival, it looks like Friday Night Lights is finally set to make its comeback in a big way.
With ten years of Friday Night Lights supporters yearning for a comeback, fans will finally get their wish with the recent announcement of not one, but two upcoming projects. Brian Gazer, the producer who worked on both the Friday Night Lights film and series recently sat down for an interview with Collider in which he announced upcoming projects slated to release a new film and TV series based on the ideals of Friday Night Lights. While plans for a new movie were first announced in 2018, little had been released concerning the film’s details until now. According to Gazer, the new film will follow the residents and high school football team set in the Mexican border town of Del Rio, Texas. The upcoming unnamed Friday Night Lights film is being helmed by John and Drew Dowdle. The Dowdle brothers are best known for their work on projects such as Quarantine, Devil, and No Escape.
The film, set to tell the story of a new small-town high school football culture will also set the stage for a connected tv series, with confirmation that the series will follow the head coach character of the upcoming film. While very little is known about the two upcoming projects, they will surely follow the suit of success received by the Friday Night Lights predecessors and live up to the obsession over high school football in America.
Friday Night Lights was first introduced into American pop culture in 1990 by journalist Buzz Bissinger. Bissinger set out to write a book focused on the role high school football played in rural society. Bissinger settled on Odessa, Texas, a small town featuring the Permian High School’s Permian Panthers. The Panthers touted a rich history of division wins, so Bissinger decided to move his family to Odessa where he spent the entire 1988 football season with the football team in an effort to understand the crazed football culture. In 1990, Bissinger would release Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, and the nonfiction story escalated high school football to the center of popular culture, paving way for accompanying tv series and film.
In 2004, Friday Night Lights received a film adaptation featuring Billy Bob Thornton as Coach Gary Gaines of the Permian Panthers. The film was critically acclaimed receiving an 82% “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Likewise, the original is coveted as being one of the greatest sports stories ever created. Following the film’s success, Friday Night Lights also received a TV adaptation in 2006. The setting for the subsequent series would receive a new setting, the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. Although the show had a five-season run, the series suffered low ratings despite a passionate and large fanbase.