EA Developing Sports Comedy Based on the Madden Curse

Out of all the video game to movie adaptations we’ve been seeing as of late, this has got to be one of the weirdest. In fact, if we weren’t in the middle of December, I would probably assume this was an early April Fool’s joke. According to The Wrap, EA is planning a movie based on their long running, wildly successful Madden football game franchise. While that might not be so weird in itself, the premise is not about an underdog football team that wins a championship thanks to the coaching of John Madden. Instead, it will be a comedy about the “Madden Curse”, the so-called jinx that brings misfortune to the athlete who adorns the cover of each year’s game.

Don’t believe in the curse? Check out this complete list of Madden cover athletes and the accidents that have befallen them:

  • 1999: Garrison Hearst — Broke his fibula in the playoffs and missed the next two seasons
  • 2000: Barry Sanders and Dorsey Levens — Sanders retired before the season started and Levens injured his knee
  • 2001: Eddie George — Plagued by toe and ankle injuries
  • 2002: Dante Culpepper — Season-ending knee injury
  • 2003: Marshall Faulk — Ankle injury
  • 2004: Michael Vick — Broke his leg one day after the game hit stores
  • 2005: Ray Lewis — Torn hamstring
  • 2006: Donovan McNabb — Season-ending surgery to repair a sports hernia
  • 2007: Shaun Alexander — Broken foot
  • 2008: Vince Young — Quad injury followed by a knee injury
  • 2009: Brett Favre — Torn bicep tendon requiring season-ending MRI surgery
  • 2010: Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu — Rib injury and sprained MCL / torn PCL
  • 2011: Drew Bees — ???

Athletes are a pretty superstitious lot as it is, so you can understand why some might be more than a little wary of the game’s reputation. Nonetheless, this movie is apparently real, and based on the popularity of the games, I could actually see it doing well. The story will revolve around “a former Madden video game champion who is forced out of retirement just as he finds himself on the corner of the game’s cover — and subject to the curse.” Pat O’Brien, VP of EA Entertainment, is producing the film, while a director has yet to be named. Personally, I think there is only one obvious choice: John Madden, director of Shakespeare in Love and Killshot!



  • swarez

    So the injuries have nothing to do with the violent and body straining sport that they play?

  • Obviously not!

    I’d like to see some stats on football injuries in general. The odds of them choosing a player who might get injured at some point during the season is probably at least 50/50.

  • Jonathan

    Of course the odds are high, that a player gets injured during a NFL season, but most players ‘being struck by the curse’ endure some major injuries and miss at least 3 or more games, when they haven’t missed a game before due to injury.
    Sure, one can argue about that, but there are a lot of ‘curses’ going around in sports and this one is pretty consistent. Still it’s more of a superstition.
    For example Troy Polamalu missed 11 games in the 2009 season, while Larry Fitzgerald(also on the cover) didn’t miss one game.
    Apart from the reality of the curse, I’m not sure I want to see a movie based on it.

  • this is dumb. and yes, it’s no curse or coincidence that players get injured in such an extremely violent sport.

  • Phil

    Get Owen Wilson to read that list, and I’m in…word for word

  • Marcus Mallard

    Conspiracy? Maybe, maybe not. Here’s what I do know…the curse can be perceived as real, but it is not necessarily concrete. Perhaps a player sees themselves on the cover, and this forces them to live up to expectations that are implied with the honor of being recognized. This, in turn, forces the athlete to perform harder putting only more strain on their body. There really isn’t any curse…it could be purely psychological. As for a film, I think it could be funny. I mean it makes sense if you think about the “hype” that an athlete must strive to fulfill once they have been singled out. A comedy makes sense, but you could even go the dramatic route with this one.