“It sounded like something our fans would enjoy seeing, so it was a no-brainer for us,” said Glenn Jacobs, ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer.
“As regular visitors to the Funny or Die site, we have a lot of respect for the quality of the work that they do and how creative they are.”
“[I] have always been a fan of SportsCenter and watch it every day, so to me it was a no-brainer,” Mike Farah, President of Production for Funny Or Die, said.
“If ESPN was interested, we were going to do everything we could to have it premiere on SportsCenter in conjunction with our online release on Funny Or Die.”
So at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, the Funny Or Die-produced Field of Dreams 2: Lockout made it’s national debut on SportsCenter.
The 3-minute, 8-second video is a spoof of the 1989 classic Field Of Dreams, flipping the focus from the original’s baseball Black Sox scandal to today’s NFL lockout.
The cast features actors Taylor Lautner (from the Twilight series), Ray Liotta, who played “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, Dennis Haysbert (Major League, 24, Allstate Insurance commercials), and Marielle Jaffe (Scream 4).
NFL players including Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez, Dwight Freeney, DeSean Jackson, Shawn Merriman and Antonio Cromartie portray themselves.
SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy also has a cameo.
“Wow, this should be a lot of fun,” Haysbert said of his initial reaction when contacted about participating in Field Of Dreams.
“I thought it would be a perfect fit.”
“We met with Taylor to discuss some ideas for making a Funny or Die video, and when he mentioned he loved football, we thought of tying his video to the NFL lockout,” Farah recalls.
“And when the idea of doing a fake sequel to Field of Dreams, but for football, we all sort of looked at each other and said, ‘That’s it!’”
“The surprise guest at the end provides the perfect payoff,” ESPN’s Jacobs says of Field of Dreams star Kevin Costner’s appearance.
“Field of Dreams is a classic movie, and the spoof idea involving the NFL lockout, which is certainly on the minds of sports fans right now, is really well done,” ESPN’s Jacobs said.
“The cast of athletes involved is impressive and on point. For example, Ray Lewis tackling everyone is very funny.”