Derek Boogaard movie: Focus Features acquires rights, hopes to begin production

Paul Bereswill

Peter Berg and Focus Features are hoping to produce a film about Derek Boogaard.

Focus Features has come to terms on an agreement with the New York Times to produce a film about former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard, according to a report by Deadline on Friday morning.

The film will be based on the series of articles written by John Branch called Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer, which appeared in the Times in Dec. of 2011. In addition to an agreement with the New York Times, Boogaard's parents have also agreed to the project. All of the money they earn from the film will be donated to a charity in Derek's name.

Peter Berg is looking to direct the film, with Ryan Condal writing the script. Berg has experience with sports-related media as he directed Kings Ransom, the ESPN 30 for 30 feature about the trade of Wayne Gretzky, as well as the Friday Night Lights feature film and television series.

Boogaard tragically passed away at the age of 28 due to an accidental drug and alcohol overdose while recovering from a concussion. Upon undergoing an autopsy, it was determined he had advanced chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a progressive degenerative disease caused by repeated brain trauma.

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