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The Boys In The Boat - What We Know So Far

According to Deadline, George Clooney and his producing-directing partner Grant Heslov are getting the ball rolling on their next project, "The Boys in the Boat." The film is based on Daniel James Brown's 2013 novel "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" (via Goodreads). 

In 2011, the Weinstein Company bought the film rights to Brown's a nonfiction book proposal with Kenneth Branagh set to direct, according to Variety. The project failed to gain any further momentum until Lantern Entertainment bought the Weinstein Company in 2018. According to Variety, Lantern Entertainment revived the project, joining forces with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Jonathan Glickman, president of the MGM Motion Picture Group, stated, "The themes, characterizations, and settings make it a story meant to be experienced on the big screen, and we are honored to be part of bringing it to audiences around the world," per Variety.

In March 2020, The Observer broke the news that Clooney had signed on to direct "The Boys in the Boat" and serve as an executive producer. Mark L. Smith adapted the screenplay from a previous draft penned by Chris Weitz. Here's everything else we know about Clooney's upcoming "The Boys in the Boat."

What is the release date of The Boys in the Boat?

There's no confirmed release date for "The Boys in the Boat." If the source material is any indication, the movie initially described as "Seabiscuit" meets "Chariots of Fire," per Variety's 2011 announcement on the acquisition of the rights to the story, will be a complex endeavor. The project has been gestating since that Variety report a decade ago, and it very nearly got made last year. Per a July 2020 Deadline report, George Clooney opted to direct the coming-of-age story "The Tender Bar" for Amazon Studios. Deadline also reported he was still eyeing "The Boys in the Boat" but felt the timing wasn't right due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, it's uncertain how Clooney's upcoming role in the romantic comedy "Ticket to Paradise," slated for an October 2022 release (via Deadline), will factor into shooting "The Boys in the Boat." Since he is splitting directorial duties with producing partner Grant Heslov, this could expedite production, but it seems this potential awards darling won't hit theaters until late 2023.

Who is in the cast of The Boys in the Boat?

"Fantastic Beasts" franchise actor Callum Turner has signed on to star in "The Boys in the Boat," according to Deadline. Details surrounding Turner's role have yet to be disclosed, but he will likely play one of the members of the underdog team of Olympic rowers at the center of this story. Given the size of the ensemble, there are many roles still to be cast. These roles may be filled by somewhat fresh yet familiar faces with proven acting chops. We'll provide updates as they become available.

Turner's film credits include everything from horror ("Green Room") to classical big-screen adaptations ("Emma.") to action ("Assassin's Creed"). Per his IMDb profile, his television credits include the Netflix romantic drama "The Last Letter from Your Lover," the miniseries "War & Peace," and Peacock's "The Capture." The latter garnered Turner a 2020 BAFTA nomination for leading actor. Turner's IMDb page also highlights he has worked behind the camera, both writing and directing short films.

What is the plot of The Boys in the Boat?

According to Deadline's November report, "The Boys in the Boat" tells the real-life story of "the University of Washington men's rowing team, who stunned the world by winning gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics." If there's anything moviegoers love, it's an underdog, especially when it comes to athletes competing for the highest honors in their field. The pop culture landscape is scattered with films about underestimated athletes who prove everyone wrong with their exceptional talent — and if you need proof, see "Rocky," "Hoosiers," and "Cool Runnings." It sure seems like "The Boys in the Boat" will sit comfortably in this beloved subgenre.

The University of Washington team's triumph over the Nazis was the subject of a 2016 PBS American Experience documentary, "The Boys of '36." The team was comprised of boys from working-class families struggling during The Great Depression. Making their story even more compelling is that they defeated Germany's rowing team, a group of men who had the resources and power of the Third Reich behind them (via Time).

Let's face it: rowing isn't exactly the U.S. national pastime. However, it will be curious to see if audiences will embrace a movie about a sport that doesn't generate much enthusiasm beyond the East Coast, particularly among the Ivy League colleges.