By Barry Janoff
August 21, 2015: What do you get if you combine tough guys, sexy women, a T-Rex, ninja warriors, explosions, motorcycles, Colin Kaepernick as Al Pacino from Scent of a Woman, Rob Gronkowski as Half Top, Rex Ryan as Lil Pepper, actors Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, WWE diva AJ Lee and the song "Renegades" by X Ambassadors?
In this case, a five-minute "epic" promotional trailer from EA Sports to herald the launch of NFL Madden 16, appropriately titled, Madden: The Movie.
"Madden: The Movie celebrates the return of Madden Season," said EA Sports, which in turn "serves as the unofficial kickoff to the NFL season, and a time when friends become 'frenemies,' rivalries are in full swing and football is back."
"Check out our full-length Madden commercial," Franco wrote on his Facebook page. "It's legitimately the craziest ad ever made and I got to rock the fuck out of a Tom Selleck mustache."
Madden NFL 16 is scheduled to hit shelves Aug. 25. EA Access members can play Madden NFL 16 before it’s release for a limited time on Xbox One starting Aug. 20, according to EA Sports.
The franchise has accounted for more than $4 billion in revenue and more than 100 million copies sold — including more than 1.1. million copies of Madden NFL 15 during its first week of sales last year — since the first version, then known as John Madden Football, was unveiled in 1988, according to industry analysts.
The extended promo spot for Madden NFL 15, which starred Franco alongside actor-comedian Kevin Hart, was also quirky and filled with non-sequitur scenes. It has been watched more than 16.3 million times on YouTube.
This year's cover features Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants recreating his one-handed touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys last season.
Shorter 15-, 30- and 60-second spots will come from the five-minute original. The launch of Madden NFL 16 will also include print, Internet, social media, POP and various fan and player activations.
The promo is eliciting responses from NFL players. On his Twitter page, DeSean Jackson (Washington Redskins) wrote, "Madden the Movie gettin me so fired up right now." Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) offered, "Check out Madden the Movie — it's crazy!"
The scenario for Madden: The Movie, as described by EA Sports:
"To thwart a rival, (actors) Dave Franco (Blade Johnbson) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Janet) must assemble a heroic squad of playmakers including Antonio Brown (Sticky Bun), Rob Gronkowski (Half Top), Julio Jones (Trick Montalban), as well as Coach Rex Ryan (Little Pepper) and introducing Colin Kaepernick in a very special role (playing Pacino's gruff Frank Slade, a blind retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. in the 1992 movie.). It’s a story so epic, it can only be Madden Season."
En route to reaching their goal of rescuing AJ Lee so that they can actually sit down to play Madden NFL 16, the squad encounters various real, imaged and absurd obstacles. At one point, when things look bleak, Ryan yells, "You just got beat by a blind man! This ain't JV . . . It's Madden!"
EA Sports even provides its own on-screen reviews: "An epic tale of gridiron redemption." "Impossible to un-watch." "Cancel awards season . . . we have a winner." And "Dave Franco is probably the best actor ever."
EA Sports said the promo took four days to film, calling it "massive, with a ton of moving parts . . . This was literally a full-blown movie production." (See the full spot here.)
Also, per EA Sports, "This year’s game is all about being a playmaker both on and off the field, with new features in the passing game as well as the brand-new Draft Champions mode." (See more new options here.)
Madden NFL 16 will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation4 and Xbox 360.
Odell Beckham Jr. Catches Madden NFL 16 Cover
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