Flacco to portray Unitas “under the helmet” on silver screen

April 06, 2013 | WNST Staff

The greatest quarterback in Baltimore Ravens history is set to take on a new challenge, acting.

Moreover, the greatest quarterback in Baltimore Ravens history is set to live up to the standards of the greatest quarterback in Baltimore football history.

Joe Flacco will always face comparisons to Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts QB Johnny Unitas as long as he plays in Charm City and it appears as though he is not at all afraid of the standard.

Flacco has agreed to play the role of Unitas in the “under the helmet” football scenes of the upcoming film project “Unitas We Stand.” The film is produced by Joe Unitas (the son of the legendary “Johnny U”) and is based on the book “Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas” by author Tom Callahan. Unitas and Ravens fan Nick Slatkin of Orange Bird Productions co-wrote the film.

The project’s website UnitasWeStand.com describes the film this way.

“Unitas We Stand” is obviously a passion project for Johnny Unitas’ son, Joe Unitas. Long before his father passed away, Joe recalls how his dad was approached on many occasions about making a movie about his life. His father’s humble response was always, “Who would want to go see that movie?” Our opinion: A lot of people will go to see this movie because it is the kind of story that resonates with the masses who tend to pull for the underdog who inspire them to succeed in their own lives. Sports films that tell the story of the underdog overcoming hardship and rising to the top have been extremely successful over the years. Academy Award winners like “Rocky” and “Raging Bull” are obvious but other films that didn’t win such as, “Hoosiers”, “Rudy”, “Remember the Titans” and most recently “The Blind Side”, are just a few examples of how these timeless stories attract big audiences.

Flacco’s agent Joe Linta told Unitas in an e-mail “Flacco is excited and honored by the opportunity and looks forward to the role.”  Unitas added “Flacco is the perfect guy to play my dad in the action scenes of the 1958 Championship. He’s a Super Bowl MVP Quarterback in real life. No actor can play quarterback better than Joe Flacco.  This will be groundbreaking.”

Flacco has no prior acting experience (outside of commercials) but has plenty of football experience. In five years, the quarterback has lead the Ravens to nine playoff victories, including a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in January. Unitas lead the Baltimore Colts to two NFL Championships (1958 & 1959) in his first five seasons under center.

The filmmakers released this promotional picture to celebrate the announcement.

There is no timetable yet for the film’s release.