Five Actors Who Should Play Don Shula in a Movie

When talking about the best coaches in football history, it’s impossible to have the conversation without mentioning Don Shula. Coaches like Shula don’t come around often, and his impact on the game will be felt for generations to come. As the winningest coach if NFL history, Shula retired with in 1995 with a career coaching record that included 347 wins and 173 losses. Over the years, he also won two Super Bowl Championships. Sadly, Shula passed away earlier this month at age 90.  He leaves behind an impeccable legacy and a story that deserve to be told on the big screen. But as with any other biographical role, picking the perfect person to play Don Shula will be one of the most important factors. Here are 5 actors who we think should play Don Shula in a movie.

1. Craig T. Nelson

For almost 50 years, Craig T. Nelson has been entertaining people on both the big and small screens. He already played several coaches over the course of his career. Most notably, he played fictional football coach, Hayden Fox in the TV series, Coach, which aired from 1989 to 1997. Nelson definitely has the ability to bring a football coach to life on screen, and he would be able to pull of Shula’s mannerisms effortlessly. Although he has yet to play a character based on a real person, this could be a great opportunity for Nelson to show that he has what it takes.

2. Brad Pitt

Even after all of these years, Brad Pitt is still an A-List celebrity. With two Academy Awards to his name, Brad Pitt has consistently shown exactly why he’s one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. Pitt is a natural who has the ability to play a wide variety of roles. From funny, to dramatic, and everything in between, Pitt does it all. However, he’s only been in a couple of sports related movies over the years, so it would be nice to see him take on a role like this.

3. Kevin Costner

Unlike Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner has done quite a few sports movies. In fact, some sports related films have given him some of his most memorable roles. Costner’s on screen presence would be a great fit for Don Shulo’s demeanor. But although Costner has undoubtedly had a very successful career (his awards speak for themselves), he’s also had quite a few roles that weren’t as well-received as he’d hoped. Playing someone like Don Shula could give Costner a chance to show his stuff in a very big way. Portraying a legendary football coach on screen certainly isn’t a small task, and if Coster were able to pull it off, he might be able to earn himself another Academy Award.

4. Val Kilmer

During the 80s, Val Kilmer was at his peak. He was the perfect definition of a Hollywood hearthrob: young, good looking, and landing lots of great roles. However, in more recent years, Kilmer’s career has been a little more quiet. Although he’s been able to work consistently over the years, it’s been a while since he landed a major role in a successful project. Additionally, he’s suffered some health issues over the years, but he seems to be doing much better. There’s no doubt that a movie about Don Shula’s wife would be a big production that would get lots of attention – even outside of the football world. Since Val Kilmer is best-known for his roles in action and fantasy films, it would be nice to see him take on a more serious role to really show the world the depth of his skills.

5. Treat Williams

Treat Williams and Don Shula share somewhat of a resemblance, but that isn’t the only thing that makes treat a good option for this role. Williams has been entertaining audiences since the early 70s. In addition to his on screen roles, he has also done some theater work. He currently has over 120 acting credits to his name, and he doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Williams already has experience portraying characters who were based on real people, and Don Shula is the perfect person for him to add to the list. Williams’ wide acting range gives him the ability to make each person he plays believable. He was also a member of the football team in high school, so his personal relationship with the game could come in handy.

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