A New FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS? New Trailer For THE LAST WHISTLE.
Here’s an exclusive look at the new trailer for THE LAST WHISTLE, starring Brad Leland, Les Miles, and Jim O’Heir.
Synopsis And Breakdown: ‘The Last Whistle’
The film stars Leland, best known as team booster and used car dealer extraordinaire Buddy Garrity on five seasons of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. With talk of a Friday Night Lights reboot floating around, this is the perfect timing for The Last Whistle. Leland said in a recent interview, “I think Buddy secretly always wanted to be a coach.”
Director Rob Smat noted, “With the way filmmaking works nowadays, if you want to see something on screen, you can put it there yourself. You don’t have to wait for somebody to give you permission or millions of dollars. I saw that people were hungry for football, for more Friday Night Lights-style stuff, so we went and delivered that, plus some.”
Coach Vick (Leland)
The Last Whistle certainly feels like a return to the town of Dillon, but with its own spin by the filmmakers (and set in the real city of Fort Worth). Whereas FNL had a large cast of recurring characters, Last Whistle focuses heavily on the internal struggles of its lead character, Coach Vick (Leland). The unexpected collapse of audience favorite Benny Robinson (Fred Tolliver Jr.) propels Vick into that all-too-familiar tornado of small town sports. The style of the film is something entirely contrary to Peter Berg’s documentary realism approach: restrained, rhythmic, and sepia toned. It’s almost if Friday Night Lights was a Western.
What remains to be seen is whether FNL returns, or if Coach Vick spins off his own television series. “It’s something we’re ready for,” says Smat. “There’s a whole world of stories to tell after Coach Vick’s experiences in this movie. If audiences ask for it, we’ll gladly deliver.”
And who can miss the first lines of the trailer, straight from the mouth of BCS champion coach Les Miles? “Well whaddya know? Big time football coach in my bar.” The Last Whistle will be the last film for the coach-turned-actor (turned coach again) before returning to the actual sideline with the University of Kansas.
Working With Les Miles
Leland added, “Having Les was great and was great for talking about what an actual coach would be saying. We were out there in that hundred-degree Texas heat, and we got in the air-conditioned booth between scenes. We had a good time.” In addition to Miles’s role as an actor, he also served as advisor to Leland on many of the coaching aspects. Smat attributes the film’s climactic speech to collaboration between Miles and Leland: “What was once a speech about winning a game became a eulogy to a fallen player, and one that shook the other actors to their cores.”
Health Awareness In Sports
The Last Whistle also brings awareness to the heart condition known as Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), which can be associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC), and are conditions that affect young athletes across all sports. The filmmakers collaborated with the American Heart Association in the making of the film to help raise awareness about these dangerous conditions.
Part of the movie’s score includes an original song written for the film by popular Texas country singer Pat Green and radio personality George Dunham. The song, “Til The Last Whistle Blows”, is a musical homage to high school football players.
The film debuts June 28th in select theaters, and on iTunes and all digital platforms.