Last February it was announced that Will Ferrell will star in the new film, American Huckster, recounting the tale of Chuck Blazer, a middle class guy from Queens who conned his way to top positions of FIFA.
Here is all you need to know about the project.
Who is Chuck Blazer?
During his time with US Soccer, Blazer reintroduced the United States to the international stage and successfully secured the US as hosts for the 1994 World Cup. From 1990 to 2011 Blazer served a second in command for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and was a member of the FIFA executive committee from 1997-2013. It was during this time that FIFA spiraled into a chasm of ethical wrongdoings.
Prior to his death in 2017 Blazer was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes related to a regional tournament called the Gold Cup, an illegal vote-buying arrangement by organizers of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the unlawful sale of thousands of World Cup tickets.
It is estimated that Blazer collected nearly $21 million in commissions, fees and other payments during his time with CONCACAF with little or no oversight, according to the organizations integrity committee.
In 2011, Blazer’s lavish lifestyle came to halt when he was apprehended by FBI and IRS agents in Manhattan. Blazer quickly became an informant and much of his testimony led to the downfall of FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, along with several other high ranking officials.
Blazer died of colorectal cancer in 2017.
HBO Films is set to produce the film, American Huckster, based on a book of the same name, American Huckster: How Chuck Blazer Got Rich from-and Sold Out-the Most Powerful Cabal in World Sports, by Mary Papenfuss and Teri Thompson.
The project will be directed by Leslye Hedlund who is hot off the heels of the popular Netflix series, Russian Doll, starring Natasha Lyonne. Hedlund also wrote and directed the 2015 film Sleeping With Other People starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie.
The script was penned by Robert Siegel who has written several sports adjacent films including The Wrestler and Big Fan. Siegel is also no stranger to tales of shady business practices; penning the 2016 McDonald’s epic “The Founder”.
There is no word on when the film will be released but don’t expect to see it by the end of 2019.
Will Ferrell’s Love of Soccer
Despite what you may think of the former SNL jokester, Will Ferrell is no stranger to the world of soccer. Ferrell played an over enthusiastic children’s soccer coach in the middling 2005 feature Kicking and Screaming. In which he worked closely with Mike Ditka, the oft parodied former coach of the Chicago Bears.
Outside of his film career, Ferrell put his money where is mouth is by becoming part-owner of the Los Angeles FC in 2016. When asked about his football allegiances Ferrell said, “I don’t really have a side per se until LAFC get started and that will definitely be, obviously, my team.
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