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Peter Berg Reteams With ‘Friday Night Lights’ Author Buzz Bissinger on ‘Father’s Day’

Written by on June 19, 2012 

Past reports — one of which pertains to a Will Ferrell-led football comedy, weirdly enough — indicate that Peter Berg will keep up the little military streak with Lone Survivor; after that, though, he’ll tackle something with a much smaller scale and far more personal matters at play. Variety tells us about the project, Father’s Day, which will mark his second time out with H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and — this may have a big impact, when all is said and done — Berg‘s own cousin.

The recently-published memoir centers on Bissinger’s relationship with his twin children — one, Gerry, attends the University of Pennsylvania, while the other, Zach, suffers from mental disabilities that render him socially incapable, but also make him something of a savant. (The expected comparisons to Rain Man, though probably reductive, are not entirely unfitting.) One summer, the author decided to take a trip with Zach from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, a brief time in which they learn fare more about each other than either would have expected. Yes, a movie from the director of Hancock has the potential to make you cry.

Really! I know the material has innumerable chances to be manipulative, sappy and, in turn, borderline irritating — but the director and author delivered honest, impacting emotion on their last collaboration, and a personal connection on the former’s part should help bring that extra “something” to Father’s Day as a whole. All I need? For Berg to leave the pseudo-Bay style at home on this one. If you want to get us weepy, a shaking camera that appears to be half-obscured all the time won’t help the cause.

Do you think something could be mined from Father’s Day to make a compelling drama?

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