Most NFL football players leave the playing field and depart directly into a broadcast booth. They trade the pads and sweaty jersey for a suit, tie and microphone. Players like Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Phil Simms, Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan have done this quite smoothly. Others like Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk take their time once they depart. Former NFL All Pro Defensive End and Super Bowl Champion Simeon Rice is doing something different. He is producing and directing feature length movies. His first movie, Unsullied, arrives on August 28th in select theaters, including St. Louis’ AMC West Olive.
Rice’s production company, Dreamline Pictures, is behind Unsullied and the goal is to produce independent films. The kind of films that rarely introduce superheroes or feature bald headed action heroes racing fast cars. Rice’s production company will release the kind of movies he likes and wants to see more of in theaters. He plans to share directing duties as well on these endeavors. “Unsullied is a modern suspense thriller. I based it on the films I like – hoping to evoke some of the cult classics of times gone by,” said Rice.
What’s the movie about? It looks at life off the grid in a world controlled by money and greed and an insatiable thirst to catch the ultimate prey –human beings. Its story is a very dangerous game of kill or be killed, and I hope this action packed drama, with its cast of exciting new talents, captures the audience and leaves them wanting more.
Say what you want about athletes taking on film work but the results have been favorable. Lebron James’ face was all over Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck and it worked. Several NFL players are filling the lens of HBO’s Ballers at the moment, including Denzel Washington’s son and former NFL running back John David Washington as well as Super Bowl champ Victor Cruz. Rice is taking that idea one step further. Instead of showing up and acting in a few scenes, Rice is putting his time and money where his mouth is. He is executive producing and directing the films, and keeping his face out of the actual film. He’s going for it the hard way.
Unsullied features Murray Gray in her debut as well as Rusty Joiner and James Gaudioso. Rice’s next production is not set but I do believe the former defensive end won’t stop before he becomes a legit filmmaker. He is making these films cheap, using up and comers and taking his time. In his former life, he attacked quarterbacks. These days, Rice has exchanged his spikes for a different kind of microphone. The one that screams “Cut” and “Action”.
Whether you like the film or not, it’s hard to not respect the ambition of Simeon Rice as he starts career #2.
Learn more about Unsullied here.