AnnWar Productions in association with Webster, Jani and Hull Films, two Nevada-based independent film companies, have entered into an agreement produce a documentary film on the life of the famed Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster.
Webster, featured in the Sony Pictures film CONCUSSION starring Will Smith, was the first National Football League (NFL) player diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head. The project, titled THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE, will be told through the eyes of Mr. Jani, Mike Webster’s family, doctors, attorneys, friends, and teammates.
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE will not only review Webster’s life as a player in the NFL but it will also explore the unique relationship he had with Sonny Jani, the man who befriended Webster during his battle with CTE, and, who, on behalf of the Webster’s estate, engaged in a epic legal battle against the NFL; a fight that was won, thereby laying the groundwork for the 2015 NFL player’s $1 billion concussion settlement.
According to producer Annette Hull, “We are extremely excited and honored to be teaming with the Webster family and Mr. Jani in bringing this story to the world. While Mike’s chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) issues have been well documented and that element of his life is a critical part of our narrative, what makes this project special is our focus on the relationships Mike had with those he loved and those who love him.
AnnWar Productions has recently completed two other true story documentaries. The first, A BAND TO HONOR, is the story of the U.S.S. Arizona band; the second, which is also a U.S.S. Arizona-themed story, is titled THE LOU CONTER STORY – FROM U.S.S. ARIZONA SURVIVOR TO UNSUNG AMERICAN HERO.
Annette and Warren Hull, the producers of the project, bring a unique perspective to the story as the couple was involved with football for much of their lives; Warren as a player and then coach, and Annette as a certified athletic trainer; the couple were also owners of a minor-league football team in the Pacific Northwest.
AnnWar Productions has set a goal to bring the Webster-Jani story to life as a mini-series or a feature film, but for now, the company will focus on completing the documentary, which begins production in Pittsburgh this fall and will be ready for release by the fall of 2020.