For his next film, screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard is remembering more than just the Titans.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the writer of true sports tales like 'Remember the Titans' and 'Ali,' is taking on another story from sports history, that of quarterback Marlin "The Magician" Briscoe, the NFL's first black starting quarterback.

"To be the first in anything is challenging. To be the first starting black quarterback, the thinking position, has real significance," Howard told the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm going to tell this personal story of Marlin Briscoe and use football as a backdrop." For his next film, screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard is remembering more than just the Titans.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the writer of true sports tales like 'Remember the Titans' and 'Ali,' is taking on another story from sports history, that of quarterback Marlin "The Magician" Briscoe, the NFL's first black starting quarterback.

"To be the first in anything is challenging. To be the first starting black quarterback, the thinking position, has real significance," Howard told the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm going to tell this personal story of Marlin Briscoe and use football as a backdrop."

The film -- titled simply 'The Magician' -- will cover Briscoe's years in the league, where he broke the color barrier during his time with the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. But it will also take a tough look at Briscoe's post-retirement years, including a struggle with drug addiction that forced him to sell his two Super Bowl rings, a stint in jail and Briscoe's subsequent path to redemption.

The film comes on the heels of some doldrum years for true-life, gridiron tales. While pro football has experienced record popularity, on-screen adaptations of the drama behind it have had a more difficult time finding an audience.

Last year's 'The Express,' about Ernie Davis, the first black Heisman Trophy winner, made only $9 million at the box office despite favorable reviews. 2006's 'We Are Marshall' fared a little better in theaters, but not with the critics, Mark Wahlberg's 'Invincible' proved anything but, and NBC's TV adaptation of the 2004 film 'Friday Night Lights' is looking at cancellation after three seasons on life support.

The tale of Marlin Briscoe may have to live up to the man's nickname to break that kind of losing streak.
CATEGORIES Movies