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Fort Worth-filmed ’12 Mighty Orphans’ has a distributor

🕐 2 min read

A classic Fort Worth story has a big time distributor.

The motion picture 12 Mighty Orphans, the story of the Depression-era Fort Worth football team of society’s castoffs that captured the heart of America, has a distributor: Sony Pictures Classics.

That, according to a story in Variety, the film industry trade publication. The film was primarily shot in Fort Worth and North Texas and stars Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw and Robert Duvall. Sheen and Duvall have not been together in a film since 1979’s Apocalypse Now.

12 Mighty Orphans is adapted from the Jim Dent book of the same name.

The book is the true story of the Mighty Mites football team that played in the 1930s and 1940s at the Masonic Home and School of Texas in Fort Worth at the intersection of U.S. 287 and Berry Street. The team was led by legendary high school coach Rusty Russell, who was himself an orphan.

That is now the site of Renaissance Square, the retail and housing project that is remaking the face of Southeast Fort Worth.

The Masonic Home was built to house and educate the orphans of Texas Freemasons.

The film has plenty of local connections. Producer Brinton Bryan of Greenbelt Films and executive producer, oilman George M. Young Jr. are both are from the area. The film is directed by Ty Roberts, another Texas native. Roberts who adapted the screenplay with Lane Garrison and Kevin Meyer.  If Garrison’s name is familiar, he is also from North Texas and played “Tweener” in the TV series Prison Break and starred in the adaption of the Texas oilfield classic, The Iron Orchard. Santa Rita Film Co. produced The Iron Orchard and Houston Hill and Roberts of Santa Rita also produced 12 Mighty Orphans, along with Michael De Luca and Angelique De Luca of Michael De Luca Productions.

For more information on the film, click here.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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