Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP) has acquired the feature film rights to adapt “Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South” by New York Times bestselling-author, Don Yaeger.
Yaeger, with assistance from USC fullback Sam Cunningham and defensive captain John Papadakis, tells the electrifying story of the game that broke down the last racial division in college football. The book was originally published in 2006.
The story details the first integrated football game in Alabama that was played on Crimson soil in September 1970, and the two teams that met represented two distinct faces of college football: legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s Tide was the all-white national powerhouse in the SEC; and the USC Trojans, coached by John McKay, featured an all-black starting backfield that reflected the social changes that were sweeping the nation.
Noted Village Roadshow CEO, Steve Mosko, “the book’s author Don Yaeger said it best: During a difficult time when the entire country was torn apart by issues of race, this game not only swept away the last remnants of racial divide in college football but marked a tipping point for civil rights progress in the south. We at Village Roadshow Pictures look forward to further memorializing a story that goes well beyond sport and touches on important cultural contemporary themes.”
The agreement for the rights to the book comes on the heels of the passing of Sam Cunningham at age 71 on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. A brief obituary and notes of Mr. Cunningham’s achievements can be found here: https://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/story/2021-09-07/sam-cunningham-usc-player-helped-integrate-college-football-dies-at-71
About Village Roadshow Entertainment Group
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group is a leading global entertainment company building premier, content-rich businesses in the entertainment industry. VREG employs innovative strategies to produce, acquire and deliver intellectual properties with timeless appeal, while maximizing group-wide strategic and operational efficiencies. VREG is the holding company of Village Roadshow Pictures and Village Roadshow Television. Under its leadership by Vine Alternative Investments, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group diversified its portfolio to include financing and producing projects across multiple formats including film, television and digital.