Rarely do Hollywood films based on pro football get to use the names and logos trademarked by the NFL. Kevin Costner’s “Draft Day,” which will be released on April 11, is a rare exception.
But the real-NFL feel comes at a cost. The league paid very close attention to the final product and even had a scene removed from the original script. Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times explains with further information from Costner himself:
That said, the NFL did take issue with at least one element in the script: when angry Browns fans hang Costner’s character in effigy. The league nixed that.
“I thought it was a real funny moment, but I think the NFL’s really cracking down on fan behavior both inside the stadium and outside,” Costner said. “The idea of hanging somebody, for as funny as I thought it was, and as realistic as I thought it was, it was just an image that I didn’t want in the movie. That was a small price for us to pay, but it shows that they were watching very closely.
“I don’t think the NFL would have grown the way it’s grown right in front of my own eyes had they not paid such attention to detail.”
It would kind of piss me off if I were an artist and a billion-dollar corporation forced me to alter my product. That said, I’m guessing this is quite common in Hollywood, where films are bankrolled by all sorts of parties with various goals. Plus, despite what Coster says, the scene sounds stupid and somewhat unrealistic. It’s not as though it was pertinent to the story.
Still though, it’s a reminder of the power of the NFL shield. If they want something cut from a movie, or the disappearance of a television show, or a major network backing out of a documentary about concussions it’s going to happen.