Director Mario Bobino
Marshawn Lynch wants to tell his own story.
Many have tried as the Oakland native has become an NFL star. Many more will want to now that he’s a Super Bowl champion.
But Lynch believes, more times than not, the media is too caught up on his dreadlocks and gold teeth and inner-city mannerisms to tell his story accurately. His mistakes get more attention than his good deeds. The complexity of his context is lost on many of those who attempt to shape perception about him.
So the Seattle Seahawks star running back, affectionately known as “Beast Mode” because of his hard-nosed style of play, is going to tell the world himself who Marshawn Lynch is. And not in a sit-down interview with a popular journalist. Or writing a tell-all book. But in a movie, a fitting medium for his personality.
“For me, it’s just about having some fun and being to do something different,” Lynch said. “I get to work with family, have family in the project. It’s just a fun experience. I also get to the shine light on the community and some of the things that we grew up doing and what we went through.”
Lynch was having a ball at the April auditions, for which 250 people showed up to vie for a part in the film.
He watched as several acted out given prompts. He also joined a few in their audition, playing a role in their improv. His mother, Delisa, even had to earn her part.
“I don’t have to audition,” said the woman known in NFL circles as Momma Lynch.
“Oh, yes, you do, or you’ll be watching some other lady play my momma in the movie,” said Lynch, who playfully heckled his mom as she went through the process.
The project is a coming-of-age film, which started production in June. It is designed to put who Lynch is into proper context by telling of his origins. Before he developed national notoriety as a star running back at Cal-Berkeley. Before he became known as a bruising, Skittles-devouring, touchdown machine in the NFL.
The movie will cover his development from a scruffy North Oakland kid who had to deal with some grown-up stuff.
It will touch on how he became a serious football protégé at Oakland Tech. How he overcame struggles early in his career to become a central figure on the best team in football. How his mistakes shaped him as much as the lessons he’s learned on the gridiron, and why loyalty and family mean the most to him.
Hollywood’s Relativity Media has already purchased the rights to the film, Family First, giving the project some legitimate backing. As an homage to his hometown, the movie will be as-Oakland-a-production as possible.
It’s set in Oakland. Fellow Oakland-native Mario Bobino of Debonair Productions is directing. And the cast will be plucked from Bay Area talent.
“We’re doing something that hasn’t been done before in Oakland and for Oakland,” Bobino said. “Oakland loves Marshawn Lynch, and he loves Oakland. This is home. So we want to do this to shine a light on the good that comes out of Oakland.”