James Mangold Still Ready To Play Some ‘Murderball’

Never let it be said director James Mangold doesn’t know how to mix up a career. Two years ago, his acclaimed music biopic “Walk the Line” dominated the awards season. This year he’s back with a good old-fashioned Western with “3:10 to Yuma.” And now he’s keen on playing a game of “Murderball.”

“It’s something we’re really excited about,” Mangold said about his film inspired by the documentary of the same name from 2005. The critically hailed true life story of quadriplegic athletes who compete in the ultra competitive (and violent) sport of wheelchair rugby is currently in development for Mangold to direct. “We’re working on the script right now. It’s got great characters in that piece. Zupan is a great focal point in the film.”

Zupan is Mark Zupan, essentially the hero in the documentary. Paralyzed from a car crash when he was just 18, Zupan was a stand out character in the original film thanks to a tenacious competitive streak and dazzling charisma.

Mangold, for one, is planning on sticking pretty close to the documentary’s storyline. “I believe in the documentary. They isolated a great storyline. A lot of the characters and the stories and the way that movie works have been our guide.”