Five Actors Who Should Play John Schnatter in a Movie

Papa John’s Pizza has been around for almost 3 decades and has always provided homesteads with delicious variations of their favorite pizzas. Although the founder and owner John Schnatter has not been one to shy away from controversies, the pizza house has managed to withstand every trial that has come its way to become the 3rd largest pizza delivery and takeout restaurant chain in the world. John Schnatter had been a stable name until he began getting involved with politics and his racist comments didn’t help at all with his already eroding name and character. Most brands didn’t want to become associated with Papa John’s Pizza because of its owner. Regardless of it all, his pizza remains to be among the best in the country.

So who really is John Schnatter?

John H Schnatter was born on November 22, 1961, to Mary Schnatter who was a real estate agent and Robert Schnatter who was a judge in Jefferson Indiana. He attended Jeffersonville High School in 1979 then went on to graduate from Ball State University with a business degree in 1983. His father Robert co-owned a tavern in Jeffersonville called Mick’s Lounge in the ’80s. According to Wikipedia, in 1984, Schnatter turned his father’s tavern’s broom closet into a workspace where he founded Papa John’s Pizza which he sold to the revelers who frequented his father’s joint. In order to buy pizza equipment, he sold his 1971 Z28 Camaro and bought $1600 worth of equipment. His pizzas became so popular that he relocated to an adjoining space a year later and by 1997, he had opened 1500 stores. He reacquired his Camaro in 2009 after he offered a $250,000 reward for it.

John Schnatter’s Downfall

Schnatter’s downfall began in 2017 when during a conference call with investors, he blamed the NFL’s ( National Football League) national anthem protests for Papa John’s poor financial performance. Papa John’s Pizza was the official pizza company of the NFL as per their marketing agreement and part of the agreement included a deal with 23 of the NFL’s 32 teams. According to Uproxx, later on, that day, Papa John’s made an announcement removing itself as NFL’S official sponsor and any advertising. Schnatter announced his resignation as Papa John’s Pizza CEO on December 21, 2017, while still maintaining chairmanship of the board amidst controversy regarding some comments he had made about the NFL not taking action against players’ refusal to respect the national anthem.

In July 2018, Schnatter was reported to have allegedly used the racial slur “nigger” in May that year while on a conference call with the marketing agency Laundry Service. His defense was that KFC’s Colonel Sanders had used the word but got no backlash for it whatsoever. The owner of the marketing agency canceled their contract with Papa John’s immediately after the call. John Schnatter ended up stepping down later that day from the position he held on the board of trustees of the University of Louisville. John Schnatter’s life being one that is full of scandals and controversies could make for a great movie and below is a list of 5 actors who would play the character of the business mogul perfectly.

1. George Clooney

Our first pick would have to be George Clooney. Clooney was born in May 1961 to a beauty queen and councilwoman mother and television host father. Clooney has received 2 Academy Awards and 3 Golden Globe Awards. George Clooney would be perfect for the role of John Schnatter as he is of the same age as John Schnatter and they both have been active in politics. John Schnatter endorsed Donald Trump for the presidency and even helped in funding his campaign while George Clooney endorsed Barrack Obama for presidency both times.

2. Michael J Fox

Fox was born in June 1961 as Michael Andrew Fox to a payroll clerk mother and a policeman father. He is a comedian, actor, author and activist whose career has spanned close to 5 decades. He is the recipient of 4 Golden Globe Awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, one Grammy Award, and 5 Primetime Emmy Awards. Fox would be great for the role of Schnatter because of their almost close resemblance consisting of dark hair and close-set eyes and they are both 58 years old.

3. Ralph Macchio

Ralph George Macchio Jr was born in November 1961 to Ralph Macchio Sr and Rosalie who owned a ranch. The actor is of mixed heritage as he is of Italian and Greek ancestry. He is known for his role in the three Karate Kid films as Daniel LaRusso and the movie Cobra Kai. Ralph’s dark hair and subtle grin are what make him a perfect pick for the role of John Schnatter for a movie. The fact that he is also born in November like Schnatter himself makes him a good fit for the role.

4. Joaquin Phoenix

Phoenix was born in October 1974 as Joaquin Rafael Bottom to Arlyn Phoenix. He has received various awards and accolades including a Golden Globe Award, a Grammy Award and has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards. Much like all the actors on this list, Phoenix has dark hair and his best feature has to be his deep-set eyes which set him apart from the rest. He might be the youngest on this list but looking at pictures of his clean-shaven face, the actor bears a striking resemblance to Schnatter.

5. Tim Roth

Timothy Simon Roth was born in May 1961 to Ann who was a teacher and painter while his father was a journalist and painter as well in Dulwich London. He is of Irish descent and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 1984. Roth has vast acting experience and is of the same age as the disgraced business mogul.


Each one of these actors has what it takes to play the role of Papa John’s founder and former CEO John Schnatter in a movie. Schnatter might be marred with scandals but it is those same controversies that would make for a killer script that would break the Box Office.

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