|Any Given Sunday|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Oliver Stone|
|Based on||On Any Given Sunday|
by Pat Toomay
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$100.2 million|
Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American sports drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and NFL players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor. It is partly based on the 1984 novel On Any Given Sunday by NFL defensive end Pat Toomay; the title is derived from a line in the book (also used in the film) that a team can win or lose on "any given Sunday", said by the fictitious coach Tony D'Amato.
Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer.
The Miami Sharks, a once-great American football team, are struggling to make the 1999 Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) playoffs. They are coached by thirty-year veteran Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), who has fallen out of favor with young team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) and offensive coordinator and D'Amato's expected successor Nick Crozier (Aaron Eckhart). In the thirteenth game of the season, both starting quarterback Jack "Cap" Rooney (Dennis Quaid) and second-string quarterback Tyler Cherubini (Pat O'Hara) are injured and forced to leave the field. The desperate Sharks call upon third-string quarterback Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) to replace them. While a nervous Beamen makes a number of errors and fails to win the game for the Sharks, he plays well and gains confidence. Rooney vows to make it back by the playoffs, with D'Amato promising to not give up on him.
The next day, D'Amato and Pagniacci argue about the direction of the team. Pagniacci favors Crozier and wants to eventually cut Rooney. D'Amato argues that Pagniacci's father, the previous owner, would never meddle in his coaching plans. During the next game, to D'Amato's chagrin, Beamen disregards the team's conservative offense and changes plays in the huddle. As the media hails Beamen as the next model of quarterback, the newfound success feeds his growing narcissism and leads to tension with teammates and coaches. During a confrontation with Beamen, D'Amato demotes him back to the bench. After Beamen gives an interview taking sole credit for the Sharks' winning streak, the other players refuse to perform for Beamen and consequently lose a home game. After Beamen gets into a brawl with Julian "J-Man" Washington (LL Cool J), an irate D'Amato expresses his embarrassment at his team before leaving. Beamen contemplates and amends his self-centered behavior.
As the playoffs come around, Sharks middle linebacker Luther Lavay (Lawrence Taylor) reminds Beamen how lucky he is to be in the league and to find a life outside of football; his words fall on deaf ears. D'Amato worsens his relationship with Pagniacci and berates Rooney for second-guessing his availability. Before the game, D'Amato gives a speech urging team unity that Beamen takes to heart. Rooney returns as starting quarterback, but is injured with a concussion after scoring a touchdown. Rooney and Pagniacci urge D'Amato to let Beamen finish the game, which after an argument he allows. Beamen apologizes to his teammates for his actions and leads the team to win. He dedicates the next game to Rooney.
The Sharks eventually lose the championship final known as Pantheon Cup to San Francisco. At D'Amato's final press conference as head coach, he is thanked by Pagniacci. D'Amato is expected to announce his retirement, but he instead drops a bombshell and announces that he has been hired as head coach and general manager of an expansion team in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Aztecs. He further infuriates Pagniacci by adding that he has signed Beamen to be his starting quarterback and franchise player.
Oliver Stone developed a script called Monday Night written by Jamie Williams, a former tight end for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and later the San Francisco 49ers, and Richard Weiner, a sports journalist. Stone separately acquired the spec script On Any Given Sunday, by John Logan. Stone later amalgamated a third screenplay, Playing Hurt by Daniel Pyne, into the project.
As of May 1, 1999, the screenplay's cover page listed the following writers: original draft by Jamie Williams & Richard Weiner, John Logan, Daniel Pyne; subsequent revisions by Gary Ross; revisions by Raynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans; revisions by John Logan; revisions by Lisa Amsterdam & Robert Huizenga; latest revisions by Oliver Stone.
The Writers Guild of America ultimately awarded screenplay credit to Logan and Stone, with "story" credit to Pyne and Logan. Williams and Weiner went uncredited for their original screenplay, but were credited for their work on the film as technical consultants.
The screenplay was also based in part on the book You're Okay, It's Just a Bruise: A Doctor's Sideline Secrets by Robert Huizenga. Huizenga was the intern doctor for the Los Angeles Raiders in their 1980s heyday, working under Dr. Robert T. Rosenfeld, who dismissed many players' injuries with the phrase, "You're okay, it's just a bruise." James Woods' character was based on Rosenfeld, and his first diagnosis of "Cap" Rooney's career-threatening injury at the beginning of the film is "you're okay, it's just a bruise." Huizenga left the Raiders in the early 1990s, disgusted at the way the medical advice was kept from players and Rosenfeld being allowed to continue treating them after several mishaps, one of which is closely mirrored in the film--Shark's neck injury and risk of sudden death, based on the real-life Mike Harden case.
Director Oliver Stone's first two choices to play Tony D'Amato were Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Henry Rollins was offered a role as a football player but turned it down as he felt he did not have the size to make the portrayal believable. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs was cast as Willie Beamen, but dropped out amidst rumors he could not throw a football convincingly. Publicly Combs dropped off the project because of scheduling conflicts with his recording career. According to Cuba Gooding Jr., he met with Oliver Stone about playing the role of Willie Beamen but Stone turned Gooding down because he had already played a football player in Jerry Maguire (1996). Chris Tucker turned down the role of Willie Beamen.
Five Pro Football Hall of Fame Players made cameo appearances as opposing head coaches. Bob St. Clair appears as the coach for Minnesota in the first game. Y. A. Tittle, for Chicago, the second game. Dick Butkus, with California, the road game. Warren Moon, with New York in the rain soaked game. For the final game in Dallas, Johnny Unitas appears as the coach.
Jim Caviezel played Tony D'Amato's estranged son, but his scenes were cut. They can be seen in the extras of the Oliver Stone Collection DVD. Tom Sizemore also had a role in the film, but it too was cut.
The film was shot in Miami, Florida and Irving, Texas. Miami's Orange Bowl stadium represents the home of the fictitious American football team, the Miami Sharks. When the team traveled to California, the stadium used was Pro Player Stadium, which is located in Miami Gardens. Texas Stadium is used for the home of the fictitious Dallas Knights.
Director Oliver Stone requested, but did not receive, the National Football League's permission to use real NFL team logos and stadiums for the film. As a result, the fictional Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) was created (not to be confused with the real AFA). The AFFA apparently exists alongside the NFL, since the Miami Dolphins are mentioned.
For the scenes during a football game, production asked local schools to participate as extras for the film, including Lake Stevens Middle School in Miami, Florida. For each shot the crowd was asked to move around so that each section looked filled. In empty seats cardboard cutouts were placed in seats with balloons attached to them so that they would seem in motion.
On Google Earth, using the "historical imagery" button and setting the date to February 20, 1999, the Orange Bowl displays "Sharks" at each end zone.
For the practice scenes they used the baseball arena Homestead Sports Complex.
The film also used Arena Football League players such Pat O'Hara, who played for the Tampa Bay Storm, later coached the Orlando Predators and is now an assistant coach with the Tennessee Titans, and Connell Maynor, who also played for the Orlando Predators and spent time as both a player and coach for the Philadelphia Soul. Bjorn Nittmo, then with the AFL's Buffalo Destroyers, was the Sharks' placekicker. Matt Martinez, a former Gurkha & ex-husband of Niki Taylor and linebacker for the AFL's Miami Hooters, played himself, #31 for the Sharks.
A scene in the film was shot at Windmill Ranch. Quaid's character's house is really Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's house.
Any Given Sunday was a financial success; made on a budget of $55 million, it went on to earn $100.2 million worldwide.
Time Out New York 's Andrew Johnston wrote: "It's often been said of films about sports that smaller balls equal better movies. Any Given Sunday explodes that theory, and not just because of the incredible intensity of its gridiron action. Oliver Stone's best movie in many years--and one of his finest ever--looks at the world of professional football from almost every conceivable angle, but it never tries to be the definitive statement on the subject. A surprisingly balanced film that merges Stone's hyperkinetic style with a character-centric narrative approach reminiscent of John Sayles and Robert Altman at their best, Sunday proves that powerful human drama and MTV visual pyrotechnics actually can coexist after all."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times also gave the film a mostly positive review, awarding it 3 out of 4 stars, but criticized its length: "I guess I recommend the movie because the dramatic scenes are worth it. Pacino has some nice heart-to-hearts with Quaid and Foxx, and the psychology of the veteran coach is well-captured in the screenplay by Stone and John Logan. But if some studio executive came along and made Stone cut his movie down to two hours, I have the strangest feeling it wouldn't lose much of substance and might even play better."
Conversely, Richard Schickel of Time criticized the story as being "standard" and stated "(a)lmost three hours of this jitter deteriorates from bravura filmmaking to annoying mannerism, and Any Given Sunday ends up less than the sum of its many, often interesting parts." Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail wrote that the story was "(c)hoc-a-bloc with manly blather about sacrifice and honour and rugged individuals pulling together for the greater glory of the team." And, elaborating on many critics' shared observations that the movie was "hyperkinetic", Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News states that "the sensation we get from the blizzard of images and teeth-jarring sound effects is of having our head used as the football."
The film received an aggregated score of 52% from 122 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, Any Given Sunday has an aggregated score of 52% based on reviews from 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Oliver Stone wanted to use the music of the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor and actually filmed a scene using their music; when he later asked for permission the band said no, and Stone was forced to redo the scene without the music.
When released to home video on VHS and DVD, a new director's cut by Oliver Stone was used. Due to the packaging listing "6 minutes of previously unseen footage" and a running time of 156 minutes, many assumed that the theatrical cut was 150 minutes, and that Stone had added six minutes of footage. In actuality, the theatrical cut ran 162 minutes; 12 minutes were deleted for the director's cut, and six minutes of new footage were added. Stone said these changes were made to help with the film's pacing. The differences between the two versions are discussed on IMDb's entry for the film.