A new film based on the true story of a Fort Worth high school football team is coming to the big screen. Not-so-surprisingly, but still excitingly, the lead star will be Dallas-native Luke Wilson.
12 Mighty Orphans follows football coach Rusty Russell (Wilson) as he works to lead a team of teen orphans that ultimately makes it to the Texas state championship. Coaching at the school from 1927 to 1942, Russell accomplishes the feat of transforming a team of orphans, greatly outweighed by their competitors, into an unlikely Texas football power.
In 2007, New York Times bestselling author Jim Dent published a book based on the Masonic Home created to house and educate orphans of Texas Freemasons, and its unexpected football success. Dent ran into his own troubles and is currently serving a prison sentence for DUI-related convictions.
Ty Roberts (The Iron Orchard) is directing the adaptation, as well as writing alongside Lane Garrison, who is also an actor (Yellowstone) and alum of Richardson’s JJ Pearce High School. Producers include Mike De Luca (The Social Network), Houston Hill, Angelique De Luca and Brinton Bryan.
What’s even more exciting is that production will begin filming in Fort Worth this October. Not Los Angeles. Not Atlanta. Dallas-Fort Worth.
Wilson was born in Dallas and attended St. Marks School of Texas with both of his brothers, Owen and Andrew. Since then, Luke and Owen have starred in several Texas movies, dating back to getting their start in Texas Longhorn and Houston’s St. John School alum Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket in 1996.
Luke is currently wrapping up a new TV series called Stargirl in Georgia, and can be seen in upcoming films The Goldfinch and Guest of Honour. He also just wrapped production on the Zombieland sequel with Woody Harrelson Jessie Eisenberg and Emma Stone. He’ll be headed for Texas next.