In this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie, we take a look back at Oliver Stone’s 1999 football classic, Any Given Sunday.

Any Given Sunday is considered by many to be the last genuinely great Oliver Stone movie to date. While the director has made his share of movies since this film came out in 1999, after the failure of his controversial epic Alexander, arguably, they have yet to have the staying power of the movies he made at his peak. Any Given Sunday was a departure for Stone, whose work to that point had been inherently political, but, on closer inspection, the movie carries many of his themes, such as American hero worship, corporate greed, and more. Al Pacino stars as a legendary coach whose team, the Miami Sharks, is floundering. Yet, a new hero on the Gridiron, Willie Beeman, played by a young Jamie Foxx, begins the rise and turns the team’s fortunes around. Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Woods, Aaron Eckhart, L.L Cool J and real-life NFL vets Lawrence Taylor and the late Jim Brown co-star.

When the movie came out in 1999 (a fantastic year for film), it was a mild financial success, earning $100 million worldwide on a hefty budget. But, it became a favorite on the then-new DVD format, and while critics initially slammed it for Stone’s insane quick-cut editing, nowadays the film is considered a stone-cold classic, and up there with Friday Night Lights as one of the greatest football movies ever made. In this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie, we dig into casting near-misses (Robert De Niro almost starred instead of Al Pacino), how Jamie Foxx landed his first dramatic lead, and the tension on set, with Foxx and LL Cool J famously feuding, to the point that they actually got into an all-out brawl on set. This episode is written by Brad Hamerly, narrated by Kier Gomes and edited by Cesar Gabriel.

Let us know in the comments if you think Any Given Sunday ranks as one of the better movies to come out in 1999.

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