Mandalay Pictures has released the first trailer for "When the Game Stands Tall," the film adaptation of former Contra Costa Times columnist Neil Hayes' 2003 book about coach Bob Ladouceur and Concord's record-breaking De La Salle football program.
Directed by Thomas Carter, the film follows the now-retired Ladouceur -- played by Jim Caviezel -- through the ups and downs of leading the Spartans through the team's 151-game winning streak that ran from 1992 to 2003 and shattered all records for any American sport.
"I'm just so overwhelmed by it," says Hayes, by phone from his home just outside Chicago. "You're down there (in New Orleans) watching actors you've watched for 10 years playing people you've known for 15 years. It's surreal."
Hayes says he learned the trailer was out Thursday night when he saw a post on Twitter.
"The trailer really brings it home. I was amazed by how they put it together. There's no doubt -- it's coming," he says with a laugh.
Bob Larson, a former Bay Area News Group photographer, said he was "really stoked" to see the trailer debut. Larson took 46 pictures for the book, including the cover shot of former De La Salle and now Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew (who has a cameo in the film).
He was hired by the film's producers to do research and provide photos to costume and set designers. Six of Larson's shots appear at the film's end.
"They kept me busy -- it was fun," he says. "I saw a sneak peak and it sent chills up my spine. The second time I saw it, it brought tears to my eyes."
The film, which also stars Alexander Ludwig, Michael Chiklis and Laura Dern, is scheduled for an Aug. 22 release. It was filmed mostly in New Orleans, though some scenes were shot in the Easy Bay.
Terry Eidson, an assistant football coach and teacher at De La Salle (who is played by Michael Chiklis in the movie), says there was little movie talk around the private Concord high school, until Friday.
"Now the trailer comes out and the teachers are showing it in their classrooms," Eidson says. "People are coming up to me and saying, 'You aren't bald (like Chiklis).' You hear about (the movie), then you see the trailer and you go, 'Hey, this is really happening.'"