Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Is Getting a Biopic at Netflix

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One of the most famous shoe brands in history is having its story told via a new biopic being produced by Netflix. The streaming service has optioned the rights to the book Shoe Dog, the memoir of Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike. The book was published in 2016 and has been on the New York Times bestseller list ever since. So there are clearly a lot of people interested in this story. Not to mention the $36 billion in annual sales that Nike logs. Here’s what Knight had to say in a statement about the biopic.

“I look forward to working with my friend, the great Frank Marshall, in bringing my story and the story of Nike to the screen. I have been gratified by the reception my book has received and think that we can explain my journey and the story of Nike to an even larger audience in collaboration with Netflix.”

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are on board to pen the screenplay. They previously worked on FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson, Tim Burton’s Ed Wood and The People vs. Larry Flynt. So this is far from their first go at a biopic. Legendary producer Frank Marshall is on board the project as well, who met and worked with Phil Knight on the set of Back to the Future. Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, had this to say in a statement.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be making “Shoe Dog” with Phil Knight, one of the world’s business icons and a great storyteller. Phil created a brand and a company that became much more than the swoosh. Through innovation, passion, and trial and error, Phil created something that became a part of our culture. We can’t wait to share that with the world. This project is also giving us the ability to extend our relationship with world class writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. They are fantastic collaborators and we are lucky to have them working with us, Frank and Phil and this project.”

The novel Shoe Dog sees Nike co-founder and board chairman Phil Knight offer a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh. The book illuminates his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. In his first year of business, after borrowing $50 from his dad to get going, he grossed $8,000 selling shoes out of his trunk. It chronicles the highs and lows of growing the Nike brand, which ultimately went onto become a brand recognized the world over worth billions of dollars.

Frank Marshall says, “Ever since our collaboration on BTTF and being a runner myself, I’ve always been fascinated by Phil’s story and how the company came to be.” There is no word yet on who may step up to direct the Shoe Dog adaptation and it’s not clear how quickly cameras could get rolling. Netflix streaming has yet to set a release date for the biopic.


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