A new film, "The Ironmen," is in pre-production, to tell the inspiring 1939 story of University of Iowa football legend Nile Kinnick.

An open casting call for a new movie being made about Iowa football legend Nile Kinnick will be held at Film Scene in downtown Iowa City on Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The producers of the soon-to-be-made feature film “The Ironmen” will host a special casting event then, at 118 E. College St., Iowa City. It tells the story of the 1939 Iowa Hawkeyes football season, led by legendary Hawkeye Nile Kinnick (1918-1943), winner of the 1939 Heisman Trophy.

Being a period film, the screenplay contains numerous featured roles of famous people of the era, including visual artists Elizabeth Catlett and Grant Wood.

A 24-year-old Catlett was a student of 48-year-old Grant Wood’s at the University of Iowa at the time, and became the first African-American to earn a master of fine arts degree from the university, in the 1940s.

Performers interested in these featured roles should report to Film Scene on the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City. Participants will do a short reading and be put on tape.

The producers will not be casting other roles at this time, but they will accept resumes and headshots. “The Ironmen” is being produced by Joseph Grandy Heath and Matt Zboyovski, who plans to film in and around Iowa City in late 2019 and 2020.

The producers can be contacted via theironmenmovie@gmail.com, and for updates on future opportunities, email theironmenmovieextras@gmail.com.

The Ironmen Movie Advisory Group was formed by Iowa City Councilman Bruce Teague and producer Joe Heath. The group Group meets once a month at City Hall. The producers are working with the Los Angeles-based United Talent Agency (UTA) to package the film.

The project is close to launching its crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the film by selling promotional packages to the premiere. The producers have negotiated a contract for the premiere to be held in the newly renovated Kinnick Stadium at the University of Iowa.

Kinnick died on June 2, 1943, during World War II. He took off that day on a routine training flight from the carrier USS Lexington, off the coast of Venezuela. His Grumman F4F Wildcat developed an oil leak so serious that he could neither reach land nor the Lexington, whose flight deck was crowded with planes preparing for launch.

Kinnick followed standard military procedure and executed an emergency landing in the water, but he died in the process. His body was never recovered. He's the subject of a recent book, “The Way of Nile C. Kinnick Jr.,” by UI alum and retired Iowa City schoolteacher Mark D. Wilson.

For more information on the planned film, visit theironmenmovie.com or facebook.com/TheIronmenMovie.



Jonathan is a reporter for the Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.com.

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