Film About 1969 UT Football Player in the Works
The tale has all the trappings of a made-for-Hollywood tear-jerker: courage, football, an undersized player, against-all-odds pluck.
But the story of Freddie Steinmark, a former University of Texas defensive back who won a national championship in 1969 then succumbed to bone cancer two years later, struggled for decades to reach the big screen.
Today, film crews are spread across UT practice fields and other Austin sites to finally recreate the story known well by Texas football enthusiasts. The movie, My All American, portrays the story of Steinmark, who had his leg amputated the year his team won the title and later died. It stars Aaron Eckhart (as legendary Coach Darrell K. Royal) and newcomer Finn Wittrock (as Steinmark). It’s scheduled to be completed and ready for theaters by the end of the year.
The film is written and directed by Angelo Pizzo, the screenwriter who penned such sports classics as Rudy and Hoosiers, guaranteeing some potent heart-strumming. Unlike his previous films, Pizzo says friends and colleagues became misty-eyed just by reading the Steinmark script.
“This is a movie that will have an amazing emotional connection to an audience, if we do it right,” Pizzo says. “I just couldn’t figure out why this hadn’t been done before.”