EXCLUSIVE: Winter State Entertainment has wrapped production on Purple People Eaters, a new feature doc on the Minnesota Vikings’ famed defensive line of 1968-1977.
Co-directors are Solomon Shields, son of NFL Hall of Famer Will Shields, and Nick Hagen. The pair also produced alongside Willie and Angela Roaf, Marv Dauer, and Hamid and Camille Torabpour of Winter State Entertainment.
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Following the Minnesota Vikings’ introduction into the NFL in 1961, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page and Gary Larsen made up the core four on defense who helped bring the team five NFC Championships, 10 division titles, and 19 Pro Bowl selections. (Doug Sutherland was another key member after Larsen retired.)
One of the most iconic front fours in the history of the NFL, these men had great battles in Super Bowl VIII against the Miami Dolphins, in Super Bowl IX against the “Steel Curtain,” Terry Bradshaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and in Super Bowl XI against John Madden’s Oakland Raiders.
Featuring the participation of Eller, Marshall, Page and Larsen, the doc will also showcase interviews with former NFL players Ahmad Rashad and Jared Allen, along with other former Vikings teammates.
Stated subject Carl Eller: “I am very excited for this documentary about the Purple People Eaters to be shared with the World, so they can see what a special, talented group of guys manned the line. It was my good fortune to have experienced the friendships and camaraderie of these phenomenal men. We are the only remaining living front four from the era of great defensive lines and it will be truly special for the viewer to see what made us the players we were.”
Most recently, the Torabpours’ Winter State has produced docs on Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Roaf (ROAF), MLB icons Jim “Kitty” Kaat (Kitty to Cooperstown) and Tommy John (Tommy John: The Bionic Man), Pittsburgh Steeler Mel Blount (Mel Blount: Whatever It Takes), and boxer Tommy Hearns (The Hitman: A Tommy Hearns Story).
Past projects from the company on the narrative side include the Vans Warped Tour pic Summertime Dropouts, as well as the football drama Under the Stadium Lights, with Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson. Among the company’s other upcoming projects are stories spanning civil rights, social justice issues and more, along with more sports docs spanning the arenas of football, baseball, boxing, basketball and hockey.
The Torabpours are represented by Karen Gottlieb at Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks.
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