Hollywood loves to capture the fan’s passion in sports movies to supplement box office revenues. Studios love to make a biopic to win Oscars. One would think the life story of Tennessee’s women’s basketball ball coach Pat Summitt would be in strong consideration for the movie treatment to satisfy both cravings from the Entertainment Industry.
As news broke yesterday that Pat Summitt was stepping aside of her coaching duties due to a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s, I tweeted “Already calling it, the Pat Summitt biopic will star Melissa Leo.” Besides gaining a few laughs and likes on Facebook, someone with a Melissa Leo account on Twitter re-tweeted it!
The light attempt at humor isn’t really that big of a stretch. Melissa Leo bares a striking resemblance to Coach Pat Summitt. Actress Melissa Leo delivers many quality performances from her Oscar win in “The Fighter” to her Oscar nominated break out roll in “Frozen River,” Leo is a talented and accomplished actress. She needs more roles and even could have her “Iron Lady” if a not yet planned film were to star her. Melissa Leo would meet the demanding challenges of the roll honestly capturing the spirit of a beloved coach.
Portraying Pat Summitt in a movie is no small task. The respected and iconic basketball coach accomplished 1,098 wins and eight national championship titles in her 38-year career at Tennessee. She even led a team to a Gold Medal Victory during the 1984 Olympics. Sport analysts are reflecting on her with praise for maintaining a professional and calm attitude during the ups and downs of her long tenure. With the misbehavior of the NHL brawls and MLB doping allegations, highlighting Summitt’s character would be refreshing alternative to the scandal ridden headlines which plague sports.
Besides, a movie on legendary Penn State coach Joe Peterno would be a very controversial sell.