The actor will portray the Hall of Famer in an as-yet untitled biopic that chronicles his rise from star quarterback to 1960s cultural icon

By EW Staff
Updated November 29, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Jake Gyllenhaal
Credit: Stephen Lovekin/WireImage.

Universal Pictures has tapped Jake Gyllenhaal to play Hall of Famer Joe Namath in its as-yet untitled biopic about the former New York Jets quarterback. Scribe David Hollander (creator-writer of CBS’ The Guardian) will write the script once the writers strike is over. The movie will tell Namath’s story as the promising young kid from steel town Beaver Falls, PA who rose to rock star status in the 1960s as the nonconformist socialite known as Broadway Joe, who would sit on the sidelines wearing a full-length fur coat. In one of Namath’s most memorable moments, he guaranteed an upset victory in 1969’s Super Bowl III, when his Jets played the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts, and delivered on his promise. Gyllenhaal is currently shooting the Jim Sheridan-directed Brothers with Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman and will next team with Doug Liman on an untitled DreamWorks project that about a moon expedition. (Variety)