‘Friday Night Lights’ May Be Getting TV Reboot

by Josh Lanier

Producers started work in 2018 on a Friday Night Lights film. Fans rejoiced, but now they have even more to celebrate as that movie will serve as a jumping-off point for a reboot of the TV series of the same name.

Producer Brian Grazer broke the news during a recent interview with Collider. Though he didn’t give much information on what to expect out of the new series or film.

“We’re working on another Friday Night Lights movie in Del Rio, Texas on a border town that takes place in 2015 and hope to be making that the beginning of next year,” Grazer said.

The original film is based on Buzz Bissinger’s 1990 book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream. The book follows the 1988 Permian High School football team’s improbable run to reach the Texas state championship game. Though, the TV show that followed wasn’t connected to that story. The NBC series, which ran for five seasons, is centered on a fictional team in Dillon, Texas.

But the new movie and series will be coupled, Grazer noted, as the film will serve as a springboard for the show. The longtime producer partner of Ron Howard said the movie “will lead us into a new series that takes place in a more recent time … like now, today, and we’re excited about it.”

A Friend’s Betrayal Inspired ‘Friday Night Lights’ Halftime Speech

One of the most iconic moments from the Friday Night Lights film is coach Gary Gaines’ halftime speech to his team. It’s not the typical chest-pounding, macho speech that you find in most sports movies. It’s more earnest and a little sad. But it wasn’t written that way.

Billy Bob Thorton plays the Permian High School coach who is struggling to keep up with the demands of his job. The town of Odessa, Texas, lives on whether the Panthers win or lose that week. The pressure to succeed is ever-present and overwhelming. So when the team makes the state championship, Gaines knows what is at stake.

At halftime, the Panthers are down and struggling to keep up with the bigger and faster Dallas Carter High School team. The movie is based on a true story, but this is a familiar trope of sports movies. But that’s where it changes.

Gaines’ speech is sentimental rather than aggressive. It’s pondering and reflective. And that’s because Billy Bob Thorton’s friend “betrayed” him the night before they filmed that scene, he told Lights, Camera, Pod podcast recently. He didn’t explain what happened, but Thorton said he arrived at the set upset and hurting. He used it as inspiration to ad-lib a portion of his halftime speech.

“So all that stuff about when you get down, and you can look at that guy next to you, look him in the eye, and all that kind of stuff. And know that you’re telling him the truth. That you’re there for him 100 percent,” he explained. “So that’s where all that stuff came from.”

You can watch that scene here.