|Filmed in Chicago and surrounding areas,
The Express will be distributed by Universal
Pictures and is scheduled for an October
Ernie Davis - 1961 Heisman Trophy WinnerThe Movie,"The Express" Featuring the
|Charles S. Dutton will play
the role of Willie Davis,
Life of Heisman Winner Ernie Davis
|Ernie Davis - 1961 Heisman Trophy WinnerProduction began rolling in March 2007 for the film "The
Express" Here's an overview of individuals featured in
the film that will highlight the life of Heisman Trophy
winner Ernie Davis.
Who is in "The Express" Lineup?
Playing the role of Ernie Davis
Actor Rob Brown has scored the lead role. The 22-year-old Brown, an
actor from Brooklyn, played football at Amherst College in
Massachusetts. He made his motion picture debut in 2000 as one of
the leads in "Finding Forrester." The movie starred Academy Award
winners Sean Connery, Anna Paquin and F. Murray Abraham. Brown
has since appeared in "Coach Carter" in 2005, starring Samuel L.
Jackson, and "Take The Lead" in 2006, starring Antonio Banderas.
In an article on WETMTV.com, Jericka Ducan quotes Brown
discussing his thoughts on the magnitude of Ernie Davis.
"I knew he was the first black Heisman winner, but I didn't know how
young he was when he passed away and so forth, said Brown. "As I
read more about him I'm surprised that many people don't know about
Davis' College Coach
Well known actor Dennis Quaid is featured as former Syracuse
coaching legend Ben Schwartzwalder. He was the head football
coach at Syracuse University who watched Davis come in and restore
the Orangemen as a national power.
Davis' High School Football Coach
Veteran actor Gary Houston has been cast in the film "The Express"
as Marty Harrigan, who was Ernie Davis' football coach at Elmira Free
Academy in the 1950s. Dave Fulton, publicist for the Universal
Pictures film about Davis' life, said that Houston appeared in a scene
in which Syracuse University football coach Ben Schwartzwalder and
running back Jim Brown visit Elmira to recruit Davis.
Playing Marie Fleming will be Aunjanue Ellis. The 38-year-old Ellis, a
native of San Francisco, has appeared in more than 30 movies and TV
series. She was in eight episodes of "Justice," and her movie credits
include the 2004 film "Ray," starring Jamie Foxx, and 2006's
"Freedomland," starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Veteran actor Charles S. Dutton has been cast as Willie Davis,
Fleming's father. Dutton, 56, is a native of Baltimore who has 74
credits as an actor in movies, TV and the theater, plus four as director
and two as producer. Dutton is an ex-convict who served 7 1/2 years in
prison for fatally stabbing a man in a street fight; he came to love the
theater while behind bars.
He has twice been nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as best
actor -- in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" in 1985 and "The Piano Lesson"
in 1990. Dutton appears in two movies scheduled for release this
year: "Honeydripper," starring Danny Glover, and "The Third Nail,"
starring Trey Deonte.
Playing the role of Jim Brown
Darrin Dewitt Henson, a choreographer, dancer and actor, was cast
as Brown. He has acted in productions such as the Showtime series
"Soul Food," the ABC-TV movie "Double Platinum" and the film "Stomp
the Yard." Brown preceded Ernie Davis at Syracuse and was slated to
play in the same NFL backfield with Davis in Cleveland. Brown retired
as the NFL's all time leading rusher.
Playing the role of Floyd Little
Chadwick Boseman plays Floyd Little. He has appeared in the TV
series "CSI: New York," "Third Watch" and "Law & Order," and he
played the male lead in the 2006 short drama "LadyLike." Little was
another great running back that came out of the Syracuse program.
Playing his college roommate
Omar Miller (Eight Mile & Get Rich or Die Trying) fills this role for the
movie that takes place in the late 1950s. In the movie, Miller helps
Ernie Davis overcome racism that he faced.
Miller is quoted in an article on WETMTV.com about how the whole
country will soon know the Ernie Davis story.
"People in Syracuse and Elmira know he's a legend, but to the rest of
the county you kind of sleep on him," said Miller. "They'll wake up
when the movie comes out."
No Reigning Oranges, But a Purple Rein Instead
Despite Ernie Davis having played college ball for the Orangemen, it's
Northwestern football fans could soon find themselves on the silver
screen for Ernie Davis' movie. The Wildcats Ryan Field serves as the
backdrop for the movie's football scenes and many Northwestern
students are filling the stands as extras. The student have been
dressed in old-time clothing and some of them were given haircuts.
"The Express Actor Charles S. Dutton" "The Express Actor Dennnis Quaid"
|Dennis Quaid will be
featured in the role of
former Syracuse football
coach Ben Schwatzwalder