Kurt Russell has been making some interesting choices lately, with impressive work over the past several years in Dark Blue, Poseidon and Death Proof helping to dull the memory of Miracle, Sky High and Dreamer.

Today we hear from Variety that Russell has signed on as a high school American Football coach in director Don Handfield’s “Touchback”. A quick skim through IMDb suggests that Handfield, who is writing the script as well as directing, has rather more experience as an actor than as either a director or a screenwriter, so we will reserve judgement on this one until we have a little more to go on.

As for the story of the film, Brian Presley plays a volunteer fire fighter and farmer who keeps wondering how his life might have turned out, had his dreams of a career in American Football not been cut short by a life-changing injury. He finds himself somehow back in the past, reliving the moment of the injury, facing the choice between altering the course of his life from what it has become to what it might have been.

If all of that sounds very familiar, that is likely because it is. Everything from It’s a Wonderful Life, through Quantum Leap, to more recent offerings like 17 Again, The Family Man, Frequency and even Hot Tub Time Machine have touched on or explored this idea of “if you had it all to do over again, would you do it differently?” Whether Touchback will offer something of a fresh take on this well-worn path, or simply prove to be derivative, only time will tell.

We’re assuming that Russell will play Presley’s coach in the flashback sections of the film, which also has Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air, The Informant!) and Christine Lahti on board, with Mark Ellis (We Are Marshall, Invincible) handling the co-ordination of the football sequences. Shooting has begun this week in Michigan.

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Dave Roper
Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.