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Jake Willie Namath

11.28.2007

Jake Gyllenhaal has signed on to star as former Jets quarterback Joe Namath in an upcoming Universal biopic. Producers had long been after Namath for a biopic but he only recently agreed after a strong pitch by writer David Hollander ("The Guardian") and the understanding that Gyllenhaal would star. Namath was the highly popular quarterback of the New York Jets from 1965-1976 and achieved legendary status for his bold prediction that his Jets would beat the seemingly invincible Colts in Super Bowl III. Despite being a Hall of Famer and a media star, Namath wasn't an exceptional quarterback. He had a sub-50% career completion rate, more interceptions that touchdowns and rickety knees. Those kinds of stats will get you run out of New York these days (just ask Eli Manning). To his credit, Namath was the first QB to ever throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season and was an all-time cocksman.

Of course no discussion (and subsequently movie) would be complete with two of Broadway Joe's most famous post-season moves. The early 70s B motorcycle movie CC AND COMPANY and his drunken proclamation on live TV that he'd like to swap spit with ESPN reporter Suzy Kolber. I'm already giddy with anticipation over Gyllenhaal recreating that scene. Hollander is expected to begin work on the script after the strike so it could still be some time before we see Gyllenhaal with a fu-manchu mustache on screen.

Extra Tidbit: Namath played one year for the Los Angeles Rams in 1976 but was benched after only four games.
Source: Variety

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