It’s hard to find a football fan in the DMV who doesn’t know who Doug Williams is. The legendary Washington Redskins quarterback made a huge impact across the region as he led the team to a championship in Super Bowl XXII with a win over the Denver Broncos, claiming the MVP title and becoming the first African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl in the process.
Now, Will Packer Productions is taking Williams’ story global with a movie about the quarterback’s life, securing the rights to his life story last month. While the production of the film is still in its early stages, Williams, now the senior vice president of player development with the Redskins (who will be changing their name soon), gave us insight into the upcoming biopic.
When did you first hear about the possibility of creating a biopic about your life? What was your reaction when Will Packer Productions gained the exclusive rights to your story?
Well, first of all, we actually—me and my attorney down in Orlando—we have actually talked to a number of people in the last 10 to 12 years. We even engaged in talks to see if they could get it done over the last 10 to 12 years. This is something that takes a little time. You have to get the right person at the right time.
My attorney’s brother kind of knows Will [Packer] a little bit, and they hit it off about two years ago. We talked about it. Will Packer was actually all into other types of movies like Girls Trip and Night School and Think Like A Man, not from the sports industry. Being from St. Petersburg, Florida and I started my career in Tampa (when I met Will), we talked and all he talked about was [how] his whole family was Doug Williams fans. Then, we talked about the movie a little bit and he said he just wanted to wait and see what transpires.
He came to our Green Bay game and we talked a little bit up in Green Bay this year. Earlier this year, we all got on a conference call and came to an agreement that this needed to be done, and he was willing to get it done. We struck up an agreement, and now, it’s in the process of trying to find a writer. Will having about 10 films, I think he’s got a lot of people in mind. A lot of people have probably hit him up about it. So, we’re just waiting from that standpoint to really get all the balls rolling at this time.
What role will you have during filming and production of the movie?
No. 1, it’s a story about Doug Williams’ life. I think I’ll kind of have a big role from a standpoint of sitting down with the writer and letting them know what transpired over my time being on this earth and find out where they want to go.
You know, you can’t ever get your whole life story in a movie. We don’t have that much time in a movie, but there is an opportunity to get some of the major points and find out where we’re going to start and where we’re going to end. I think a lot of it will be throwing in some growing up in the South, where I am now, a lot of different things in the movie.
But my role is going to be to let them know about Doug Williams. It’s not going to be a situation where they create a Doug Williams. You can’t create Doug Williams; Doug Williams has already lived that life. They’ll have to kind of ask me the questions and find out where they want to go when I give them the information. They’ll probably get a chance to talk to other people in my family, some friends, some guys and girls I went to school with and a lot of other people to get a real feel of how this film will go.
At the moment, the film is supposed to be about your career and journey to the historical 1988 Super Bowl win. Are there any moments from your life or career that you hope are included in the film?
I think it probably ends with Super Bowl memories, but I don’t know where it’s going to start. There’s a lot of parts in it. It’s important, and we just have to sit down and really talk about those parts. At the end of the day, it is like that road to where it ends. It’s kind of like the old cliché Jerry Clower always used to say, “Where will you be when you get where you’re going?” I think at the end of the day, it’s more of less how did I get there and realize my road was probably not as smooth as other roads in order to get to where I am.
What do you hope audiences and younger generations get out of the film?
At the end of the day, the hope is that when it’s over with, they know a little bit about Doug Williams. Not the guy that walked off the field in San Diego in 1988, but the guy that comes from Zachary, Louisiana.
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