Omari Hardwick (Army of the Dead), Kelly RowlandAmerican Soul) and Rome Flynn (How to Get Away with Murder) have signed on to star alongside Marsai Martin in Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Films’ upcoming feature . The film directed by NAACP Image Award winner Anton Cropper (Black-ish) has entered production in Atlanta, and will debut exclusively on Paramount+ later this year.
Fantasy Football follows 16-year-old Callie Coleman (Martin) who discovers she can control her professional football player dad, Bobby Coleman’s (Hardwick) prowess on the field through EA Sports’ Madden NFL. Rowland is playing Callie’s mother, Keisha Coleman, with Flynn portraying Bobby’s rookie archival, Anderson Fisher. Elijah Richardson, Hanani Taylor, Abigail Killmeier, Tyla Harris and Isac Ivan will round out the cast.
Fantasy Football is the third film to enter production under Awesomeness and Nickelodeon’s live-action film studio head Syrinthia Studer, following The J Teamstarring and executive produced by JoJo Siwa, and the upcoming Honor Society, starring Angourie Rice and Gaten Matarazzo. Emmy winners Dan Gurewitch & David Young wrote the most recent draft of the script, which was based on an original screenplay by Richard T. Jones & Jeremy Loethen and Tim Ogletree.
LeBron James, Spencer Beighley and Jamal Henderson are producing for The SpringHill Company, with Marsai Martin and Joshua Martin of Genius Entertainment, and Timothy Bourne. Carol Martin and Jamila Jordan-Theus are exec producing for Genius Entertainment. Studer, who serves as Executive Vice President of Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Films, is overseeing the project with Nickelodeon’s Director of Development, Jessica Smith. NFL Films and EA Sports are also on board to provide the sports expertise necessary to the film’s production.
“I am so excited to be working with such a talented and supportive group,” said Cropper. “Fantasy Football is a culmination of the adrenalin of the NFL and the fun of EA SPORTS Madden NFL, with the heart of a father-daughter relationship. As the father of a teenage daughter, I can’t wait to sit down and watch this with her. It’s everything a great film is supposed to be!”
Hardwick starred as James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick on Starz’s hit series Power and recently appeared on the Netflix series Pieces of Her, with Toni Collette. The actor’s film credits include Army of the Dead, American Skin, Sorry to Bother You, Shot Caller, For Colored Girls, The A-Team and Miracle at St. Anna.
Rowland is an actor and Grammy-winning musician (of Destiny’s Child fame) whose film credits include Black Is King, Bad Hair, Think Like a Man and Freddy vs. Jason. She’s also been seen on such series as LA’s Finest, A Black Lady Sketch Show, American Soul and Empire.
Flynn is a Daytime Emmy winner who has been seen on such series as Gray’s Anatomy, The Rookie, Raising Dion, With Love, Dear White People, How to Get Away with Murder and The Haves and the Have Nots, among others. His film credits include 1/2 New Year and A Madea Family Funeral.
Hardwick is represented by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; Rowland by Gersh and Roc Nation Management; Flynn by Innovative Artists, Weiner Dale Management and Meyers & Downs; Richardson by CESD and Terrific Talent; Taylor by AEFH; Killmeier by Savage Agency and Treadwell Entertainment Group; Harris by Alexander White Agency and Authentic Talent and Literary Management; and Ivan y Stellar Talent Agency.