The director of a proposed movie about the Buffalo Bills toured Ralph Wilson Stadium on Thursday and visited other local sites with a location scout.
Ivan Reitman, best known for directing “Ghostbusters” and “Stripes,” was also seen with Tim Clark, director of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, who declined official comment. A spokesman with the Bills confirmed the tour and said Reitman also met team CEO Russell Brandon.
The “Draft Day” screenplay, by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, tells the story of a Bills general manager who has the first overall pick in the National Football League draft. He spends draft day making deals in an attempt to improve the team and restore the franchise to its former standing.
Kevin Costner, who has been in his share of popular sports films, including “Field of Dreams” and “Bull Durham,” reportedly has signed on to play the fictitious Bills general manager.
Whether the film is made here, sources say, will depend on whether decison-makers at Lionsgate Films, which acquired the rights to the movie from Paramount Pictures, consider it economically prudent to produce it in Western New York. A shortage of union crew members and filmmaking infrastructure often make it more costly to do so.
“Draft Day” was recently resuscitated from a list of Hollywood’s top unproduced screenplays, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It received the most votes – by a wide margin – out of 78 films in an industry survey of nearly 300 Hollywood executives. Past films from the compiled list of undeveloped films that were later made include Academy Award winners “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech.”