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THE GAME PLAN

Designing The Game Plan
The next task for the filmmakers was creating a believable world around Joe Kingman, whose universe comes with all the sweet rewards of fame and adulation. He drives a gorgeous, gull-winged Mercedes, dates only the most fashionable women and his lavishly furnished townhouse is the stuff of which bachelor fantasies are made. He even owns a brand-new, trendy downtown watering hole, the Jelly Bar.

To create a lavish lifestyle befitting "the King,” Fickman recruited production designer David J. Bomba, who previously worked with Fickman on "She's the Man” and also designed the early rock ‘n' roll world of Johnny Cash for the acclaimed "Walk the Line.” Bomba started by constructing Joe's multimillion-dollar penthouse apartment on a large converted warehouse floor in the town of Westwood, Massachusetts. Complete with its own elevator, the apartment needed to be able to house something huge: Joe Kingman's ego. Bomba further outfitted Joe's home with a pool-sized bathtub, a designer kitchen, a gigantic personal gym and souvenir merchandise of Elvis Presley.

"Joe's an egomaniac, to be sure,” says Bomba. "Andy wanted to make sure the audience never forgot that, yet still have his apartment show us Joe's loneliness at the top. We used lots of mirrors so he could always be checking himself out. We put all his past glories on display, from pictures and trophies to game balls.

To top it all off, we had a wall-size portrait of him that dominates the living room. It is all in line with his huge sense of self, which is toppled by little Peyton.” Whether he was working on the field of Gillette Stadium or designing on the stage of the Majestic Theatre, Bomba notes that his design strategy was always "to contrast Peyton and Joe, the child and the adult, football and ballet.”

While those contrasts create hilarious situations, they are ultimately overcome by the one thing Joe Kingman has never acquired among his possessions: real love. Sums up Andy Fickman: "I'd love the audience to walk away from the movie with the notion that anybody can heal someone else, large or small. Because, for all the layers of cockiness Joe has built around himself for years, it just takes one little girl's love to melt it all away.”

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