Ty Roberts’ drama about the Depression Era exploits of a Fort Worth high school football team is set for a June theatrical release.
Coming soon from the makers of The Iron Orchard: 12 Mighty Orphans, a filmed-in-Texas drama based on the real-life exploits of a high school football team from a Fort Worth orphanage that attracted national attention during the Great Depression with an improbable string of victories over bigger and better-equipped opponents.
Led by legendary coach Rusty Russell (played in the film by Luke Wilson), the Mighty Mites of the Fort Worth Masonic Home were supported and celebrated by such luminaries as Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Amon Carter (Treat Williams) — and Carter’s close, personal friend, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Larry Pine). Over the course of their winning season, the scrappy underdogs and their resilient spirit became an inspiration to their city, state, and an entire nation in desperate need of a rebound.
Directed by Ty Roberts from a screenplay he wrote with Iron Orchard star Lane Garrison (who co-stars here as the ferociously amoral coach of a rival team) and Kevin Meyer, and based from sportswriter Jim Dent’s well-regarded book Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football, 12 Mighty Orphans also stars Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw, Wayne Knight and, in a cameo role, C&I reader favorite Robert Duvall. The film is set to open theatrically in New York and Texas on June 11, with a wider release throughout the rest of the country on June 18.
A feature story focused on the production of 12 Mighty Orphans, and an interview with Martin Sheen, will appear in our upcoming May/June issue.