Back in the late 80s, when the world was more innocent than today, who would have ever thought that Brian Robbins of all people would become the media mogul for the new millennium? That pseudo-tough kid Eric from “Head of the Class,” for crying out loud! I can’t turn around without seeing his name somewhere. Writing the story and producing Big Fat Liar. Producing “Smallville” and the upcoming “Birds of Prey.” Directing the upcoming college-themed film The Perfect Score. And now, stepping up to produce Radio, the based on a true story title which will be directed by his long time partner Michael Tollin.

How much clout does Robbins and Tollin have now? Enough to move past projects with the likes of Amanda Bynes and Freddie Prinze Jr. and start signing a better caliber of talent like Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding Jr, both who have signed on for duty in Radio. Gooding Jr. plays the title character, a mentally retarded man in the South who develops an unlikely friendship with local high school football coach Harold Jones (Harris), which changes the lives of the Jones family and the entire community.

Casting has just begun for the following supporting roles:

These descriptions may include major plot points to the story. Read at your own risk.

Linda Jones: Late 40s, the coach’s wife. They were high school sweethearts. She a cheerleader and he the star football player. You can see she was a very beautiful young woman. Over the many years of their marriage she has come to accept, without being a doormat, that football comes first in his life. While this doesn’t please her, she understands. When Radio comes into her husband’s life she appreciates that this has opened him emotionally, but she is saddened that she was not able to do that herself. Through all of this she is totally supportive of her husband.

Principal Reynolds 40-50, African-American. A professional woman. She is smart, tough, warm and fair. She has a great relationship with her staff and her students. She is conscious of her position as an African-American authority figure in a southern community. She is the one to verbalize concerns about how Radio’s impacts on the situation having him in the school. She and Coach Jones have a particularly great relationship based on mutual respect and the fact that they are both “no nonsense” types. She is supportive of Coach Jones and helps mediate with the authorities and the community.

Honeycutt: 35-40, and the Assistant Football Coach and the Basketball Coach at Hanna High, a former athlete. He is Coach Jones’ unquestionably loyal “second” and clear successor as Head Coach. While Coach Jones is the strong silent type, Honeycutt is the “screamer”. He has been trained well by his mentor and is very good at his job. He is the one person in whom Coach Jones confides, and he can speak frankly back. He is kind to Radio but skeptical about having him around the team.

Mary Helen 18, Coach Jones and Linda’s daughter. A cheerleader, but cool. Unlike her mother, it is harder for her to accept her father’s sense of priority of football over family. Her way of dealing with it is to basically not interact with him. This causes her father pain but neither of them have the skills to reach out to one another. She is incredibly kind to Radio and manages not to resent him, even though she is hurt that her father finds time to spend with Radio while he never had time to spend with her. (casting notes state the actress chosen must be 18.)

Jimmy Helton: 18, and Hanna High’s star athlete. Cocky and self-assured. He is a terrific football player and a great basketball player. He leads his teammates in making fun of Radio and there is tremendous tension between him and Coach Jones because of it. When Jimmy tricks him into doing something bad, Radio’s nonjudgmental reaction leads to a change in Jimmy’s behavior on and off the court. (Casting notes state the actor chosen must be at least 18 and have strong basketball skills.)

Maggie: 50s. Radio’s mother. Black. Strong, smart, working-class, she has had to work too many hours a day all her life to care for her family. She loves Radio and always worries about him. When Coach Jones befriends her son she is very suspicious. While she comes to appreciate how much her son loves being at the school, she never really understands why everyone is doing it.

Frank Helton: 40-50. Jimmy’s father. An officer at the local bank. His passion is the local football team. Along with a group of regulars he meets in the barbershop to discuss all the latest team news. Appalled when the team starts doing badly and furious when his son is benched for mistreating Radio. He leads the effort to get rid of Radio. A strong, opinionated, southern man.

Tucker: 30-40. A bureaucratic social worker who threatens to remove Radio from the school environment and put him in an institution after his mother dies. Incapable of looking at the big picture – like how Radio’s presence has helped him personally and positively affected the entire community–Tucker can only deal with the rules in a maddeningly small minded way that is thwarted by Coach Jones and Principal Reynolds on several occasions. (Casting notes this role is non-gender specific.)

Nope. Haven’t seen any of this before.

Shooting begins in the South in October.

If you feel you are rightly suitable for one of these roles, please feel free to have your agent contact either the production company or the casting directors.

The Scorecard
Director: Mike Tollin
Producers: Brian Robbins, Mike Tollin
Writers: Kevin Falls
Casting Director: Margery Simkin
Distributor: Revolution Studios/Sony