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“Unitas We Stand” is obviously a passion project for Johnny Unitas’ son, Joe Unitas. Long before his father passed away, Joe recalls how his dad was approached on many occasions about making a movie about his life. His father’s humble response was always, “Who would want to go see that movie?” Our opinion: A lot of people will go to see this movie because it is the kind of story that resonates with the masses who tend to pull for the underdog who inspire them to succeed in their own lives. Sports films that tell the story of the underdog overcoming hardship and rising to the top have been extremely successful over the years. Academy Award winners like “Rocky” and “Raging Bull” are obvious but other films that didn’t win such as, “Hoosiers”, “Rudy”, “Remember the Titans” and most recently “The Blind Side”, are just a few examples of how these timeless stories attract big audiences.
After reading Tom Callahan’s manuscript for “Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas”, Joe knew he had found the basis for UNITAS WE STAND. Not long after the book hit the New York Times Best Seller List, Joe was able to secure the rights to the book from Tom.
Joe Unitas will tell you that it’s been a long process, over six years of work, to write the script and find a team of passionate professionals to take the project to this point. He admits that he has learned a lot from his father over the years and that drive and determination is what pushes him to get this movie made. Since teaming up with Chris Braun and then with Ghost Rider Pictures and independent producers Steven Scaffidi and Oley Sassone, it has been full steam ahead for the project. The team has put together an ingenious marketing strategy and an aggressive timeline to take advantage of the next two Super Bowls to launch and eventually produce their film in 2014. This unique strategy includes teaming with investment/producing partners who have made an impact in professional sports and who have been inspired by the life and career of Johnny Unitas.