Skip to main content

Russo Bros Wanted to Shoot 'Infinity War' in Cleveland

Browns Draft Day a Little Like ‘Draft Day’

Real Browns fans and players are as hopeful for the draft
as their 'Draft Day' counterparts.
Is it just me or does this NFL draft day feel a little like Draft Day for Browns fans?

Forgo the GM who fired his father (who promptly passed away), just found out his girlfriend/co-worker is pregnant, and whose job is on the line if he doesn’t make a big splash in the draft, and we’re looking at a lot of the same plot points.

On the board for Ray Farmer, general manager of the Browns and real-life counterpart to Draft Day’s Sonny Weaver (a Ray of Sonnyshine?), is a hot shot quarterback and star wide receiver. Every fan in Cleveland wants a hot shot quarterback - somewhere between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and hopefully named Bernie. The front office, if you believe local and national media, has their eyes on a wide receiver with a little trouble in his past.

Sonny faced the same battle. He was enamored with the skills of defensive back Vontae Mack, who others felt was more trouble than he was worth. And after a questionable trade to get the No. 1 pick, the Cleveland faithful - including Browns owner Anthony Molina - expects Sonny to nab the alleged best player, hot shot quarterback Bo Callahan.

So for many of the same reasons, today real life is mimicking art. Debate rages as to whether the Browns should nab hot shot QB Johnny Manziel (who may be overrated) or reliable wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

But it’s more than that, too. The Browns may already have a reliable quarterback in Brian Hoyer. In the film, the fictional Browns also had a potentially reliable quarterback in Brian Drew. Drew was injured halfway through the season, which crushed the Browns hopes. Same goes for the real Browns’ Hoyer.

Then there’s Ray Jennings, the fictional running back whose father played for the Browns. A longshot choice for the on-screen Browns. The real team has its own longshot, too. He’s not legacy, but the name Mack is popular in Cleveland, so could Khalil Mack be on the Browns’ board? (And we won't even get into the similarities between this make and the celluloid version.)

Throw in a crafty, sometimes showy owner (Jimmy Haslam) and a new coach (Mike Pettine), and you start to see why today feels oddly similar to the silver screen.

Maybe that’s for good reason. The film Draft Day was written by Clevelander Rajiv Joseph, a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who has told more than one reporter writing about the Browns was daunting because he was such a fan (he originally wrote the script with the Buffalo Bills as the team with draft issues).

And obviously the film was shot here - but last summer, before Hoyer’s emergence from the third string as a possible team leader. Before the unraveling of a promising season and sweeping regime change.

Is it possible Joseph was prescient about these Browns and this Draft Day? Could he see into the future of our team - his team - to know what 2014 would hold? I say anything's possible. We’ll know for sure later tonight, if Hoyer still leads the team as the starting quarterback. And if unexpected selections (Mack) are made at the last minute.

At the very least, expect more than a couple commentators to compare these Browns with their silver screen counterparts. And that the hope the film gives to fans rings true along the shores of Lake Erie as well.


Popular posts from this blog

Russo Bros Wanted to Shoot 'Infinity War' in Cleveland

Imagine Medina standing in for the rolling hills of Wakanda or the steps of the Sanctum Sanctorum leading down to E. 9th. With a little more infrastructure, it may have happened.

Cleveland natives and Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo said as much recently during a Q&A after a screening of the film at the Cleveland Cinematheque, adding that they would have loved to bring Infinity War to Cleveland. One of the reasons the brothers couldn’t is because it lacks a modern sound stage suitably for a film its size.

The Russos shot much of Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Cleveland. If the right sound stage was available, they would have kept the film in Northeast Ohio longer.

The directors said the availability of state-of-the-art sound stages was one of the main reasons why nearly 40 feature films are shooting in Georgia. Georgia's Pinewood Atlanta Studios is the second largest purpose-built studio in North America, featuring 18 sound stages rang…

'Walking Dead' star Emily Kinney joins 'Anhedonia' cast

Emily Kinney, perhaps best known for her role as Beth Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead, is joining Anhedonia, the new indie feature from Cleveland’s Eric Swinderman and Carmen DeFranco.

Kinney got her start on stage, with roles in Spring Awakening and August: Osage County, before transitioning to guest roles on television and a star turn as Emily on Showtime’s The Big C.

Her breakout role would come as Beth Greene, Maggie Greene’s little sister, on The Walking Dead. Kinney became a fan favorite during a series of dramatic episodes in the series’ fourth season when Kinney’s Greene bonded with fellow survivor Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus.

Anhedonia co-stars Breckin Meyer and Giselle Eisenberg.

"To have the opportunity to work with such an amazing actress like Emily is beyond exciting,” says Swinderman. “It's also very exciting for the city and people of northeast Ohio to have three huge TV stars coming to town to work on such a wonderful project.”

Anhedonia tells the tal…

Cleveland indie nabs 'SNL' alum Abby Elliott, TV veteran Breckin Meyer

Abby Elliott and Breckin Meyer are coming to Cleveland. They are set to star in Anhedonia, the new feature from 1031 Films’ Eric Swinderman and Carmen DeFranco. Filming begins May 1 at locations around Northeast Ohio.

Elliott, an alum of Saturday Night Live, is best known for her roles on How I Met Your Mother, Odd Mom Out, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It may not be Elliott’s first time in Cleveland, either. She played Lara in Fun Size, which shot in Cleveland in 2012.

Meyer starred as Jared Franklin on Franklin & Bash and is well known for roles in Road Trip, Clueless and Garfield.

Also joining the cast is Giselle Eisenberg, who stars as Sophia in Life in Pieces, and Cleveland’s own Debra Herzog, who had a supporting part on Outsiders and serves as a producer on Anhedonia.

Other local stars include Bryant Carroll, Allen O’Reilly, Jonathan Chiarle, and Katherine DeBoer. More roles will soon be cast.

Dark subjects, big questionsAnhedonia tells the tale of Casey (Meyer), who mee…