EXCLUSIVE: The inspiring story of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and his road back to football after nearly dying on the field last January will be turned into a feature film documentary. Did We Win will highlight the player’s miraculous recovery since stunning the NFL when he collapsed on the field and went into cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game last January, after sustaining a blow to the chest.
As his teammates wept, things looked dire as the game stopped for 10 minutes as shocked viewers watched medical personnel administer CPR and an AED on the field to get Hamlin’s heart beating again.
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Aside from the awareness that Hamlin has brought to sudden cardiac arrest, Hamlin might get an opportunity for the ultimate on-field redemption tonight when the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets. Hamlin is expected to suit up and might play this evening, remarkable in that he nearly died on the field.
Did We Win will be directed by Clay Tweel (Gleason), produced by Beau Flynn and his FlynnPictureCo, and executive produced by Scott Sheldon of FPC, Steve Michaels and Jodi Flynn of Asylum Entertainment Group (part of Endeavor’s nonscripted content group), Jordon Rooney of Jaster Athletes, and Shannon Riggs from Parkside Films. Skydance Sports and NFL Films also will executive produce.
They’ve already been filming Hamlin since his immediate treatment in hospital and as he adjusted to life after the accident, capturing both his return to professional football and his expanding philanthropic efforts. Hamlin has used his near-death experience as a platform to create awareness of commotio cordis, a leading cause of death in young athletes and something that happens when cardiac arrest occurs after a blow to the chest. It induces a potentially lethal heart-rhythm disturbance, or arrhythmia, called ventricular fibrillation. If a player gets the expert treatment Hamlin received, the condition doesn’t have to be fatal, but there isn’t enough awareness in all of the organized football being played in the U.S., and young players die. Hamlin has taken it upon himself to use his platform to stop that from happening.
Did We Win will be FPC’s first docu after a string of big-budget films that include Black Adam, Jungle Cruise, Red Notice and the upcoming live-action Moana with Disney and frequent collaborator Dwayne Johnson and Seven Bucks.
“Damar is a real-life superhero,” Flynn said. “His impact and recovery in such a short period of time has been extraordinary to witness. I am honored that he and his family have entrusted us. Damar’s incredible story needed to be shared with audiences and look forward to taking this step into nonfiction with him.”
In mere months, Hamlin has sparked change across the sports landscape. He met with President Biden, who praised him for channeling his recovery into political action by joining Sen. Chuck Schumer on the Access to AEDs Act. Hamlin’s charity, Chasing M’s Foundation, also joined national sports leagues and the American Heart Association, American Red Cross and several other groups for The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, advocating to adopt evidence-based policies that will prevent fatal outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest among high school students. Chasing M’s Foundation, which initially began as a community toy drive, has expanded its charity efforts upon receiving over $9 million in donations after the incident.
Tweel and Endeavor’s Film 45 partnered on the Oscar shortlisted Gleason, the heartbreaking film about NFL player Steve Gleason after he was diagnosed with ALS. “Damar and his family are true examples of strength and perseverance and I can’t wait to share their deeply emotional story with the world,” Tweel said.
The charismatic Hamlin grew up in McKees Rocks in Pittsburgh and played ball at the University of Pittsburgh before being drafted by the Bills in the sixth round in 2021 and cracking the starting lineup.
Hamlin starts the season tonight as part of the Super Bowl-contending Bills’ 53-man roster, so there is a lot of potential third-act highlights here, beginning with Hamlin getting on the field tonight, possibly.
Endeavor’s non-scripted content group is financing. WME Independent is handling sales. Flynn is represented by Hansen, Jacobson, and Tweel by WME. Hamlin is repped for marketing and creative by Jaster Athletes’ Rooney, who first saw the potential of a film and brought the idea to Flynn.
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