Marshawn Lynch usually avoids the spotlight off the field and resists talking to the press whenever he can, but now the Seahawks star is set to tell his story on the big screen.
Lynch will star in a biopic about his rise from the streets of Oakland to Super Bowl champion, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
“Just trying something new,” the often reticent running back says of the film, tentatively titled “Family First.”
It’s not the first time Beast Mode will be unleashed on the big screen. Lynch had a bit part playing a mob security guard in the Seattle-filmed “Matt’s Chance.”
“I’m more than ready to play myself,” Lynch said with a laugh. “I got the acting bug when I played a small role in ‘Matt’s Chance’ starring Gary Busey. I definitely want to expand my opportunities after football. I’ve also been on a couple TV shows, so I’m not nervous.”
Lynch has been a man of few words off the field, avoiding interviews whenever possible. The NFL fined him in early January for refusing to speak to the media. That fine was ultimately rescinded after Lynch appealed and agreed to talk to the press.
The film is a coming-of-age film that chronicles Lynch’s upbringing, his emergence as a standout in Oakland and at Cal, and his break into the NFL culminating with a Super Bowl title.
“It’s just a fun experience. I also get to shine the light on the community and some of the things that we grew up doing and what we went through,” he says.
Lynch tells the Mercury News he’s been stereotyped for his dreadlocks, gold teeth, and inner-city mannerisms, and he wants to set the record straight.
“Family First” will also feature NFL quarterback Josh Johnson, a childhood friend of Lynch’s who signed with the 49ers on Thursday.
The film’s director, Mario Bobino, says most people don’t know how much Lynch cares. “Marshawn is very human. He is passionate about family. He is passionate about Oakland, about Cal. He has a great desire to do good things for the youth of the community. That’s the side of Marshawn people don’t see,” he says.
Bobino tells KIRO Radio Lynch will portray himself in college and after. His younger brother will play Marshawn in high school, and a child actor will play him as a youth. Lynch insisted his mother play herself in the film, Bobino says.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in June. Bobino says Lynch, who will also serve as executive producer, will be on the set until training camp. He hopes to have it finished by the end of the year, with premiers in his hometown of Oakland and Seattle before the Super Bowl.
“One thing I will say about this film, people will understand him far better than ever before. They’ll see how rough he had it growing up, and how he became Beast Mode.”