The story of the rise of footwear’s biggest brand will soon be a motion picture. Netflix has optioned film rights to Nike founder Phil Knight’s memoir “Shoe Dog.”
The book, which has been on the New York Times best-seller list since it was released in 2016, details the humble beginnings and rise of the Oregon-based sportswear giant, told by Knight, who co-founded the brand with famed Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman in 1972. Within the pages of “Shoe Dog,” you learn the full story of Nike, from Knight as a business school graduate borrowing $50 from his father to launch a company importing Japanese running shoes, to the founding of Nike, to it becoming a multibillion-dollar behemoth. Along the way, Knight details the trials, tribulations, setbacks, competition and glory.
Although much of the Nike story was already known, Knight’s book is notable because it’s the first time he’s detailed the brand’s story himself. Now 80, he had been notoriously secretive throughout the years, so fans of the Swoosh were delighted to finally hear his own story.
Knight will produce the film for Netflix alongside Frank Marshall, an Oscar-nominated producer who has worked on major films like “Indiana Jones” and “Back to the Future.” In fact, the two first worked together during the production of “Back to the Future Part II,” when the now-famous Nike Mag was designed for the film.
Chosen to write the screenplay for “Shoe Dog” is the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who previously penned major biopics like “Ed Wood,” “The People v. Larry Flint” and more recently, “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
The cast and a projected release date for the film have not yet been announced.