Sean Payton to be played by Kevin James in film

  • Covered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
  • Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate

METAIRIE, La. — The “King of New Orleans”?

Saints coach Sean Payton will be portrayed by comic actor Kevin James in an upcoming Netflix movie titled, “Home Team.” The movie is being produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions.

As NBC’s Peter King first reported, the movie will be based on how Payton wound up serving as an assistant coach on his son Connor’s sixth-grade football team in the Dallas area while he was suspended by the NFL in 2012 over the “Bountygate” scandal.

Payton told ESPN that he believes the movie will have a “humorous Adam Sandler” spin and will be more “inspired by” his real-life experience than an exact retelling. It will be focused on his experience coaching the youth team.

Payton said the idea was generated after his daughter, Meghan, reported a story for the NFL Network looking back on that season with the kids from the Liberty Christian Warriors team. Meghan’s boyfriend, Christopher Titone, is Sandler’s brother-in-law, as well as an actor who works with Happy Madison. And apparently Sandler liked the idea of turning it into a movie and enlisted Titone to help produce a script.

James, a longtime friend and collaborator of Sandler, has starred in such hits as the TV series, “The King of Queens” and movies like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” and “Grown Ups.”

When asked what he thinks of the casting, Payton said, “Listen, I’m at that age where I don’t really care.” But he said he enjoyed having a conversation with James about the role over a videoconference. And he said he knows James and the group of people that Sandler has long worked with do a “a great job.”

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