(CBS Local Sports)– Julian Edelman wasn’t supposed to be an NFL wide receiver.
The 3x Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP has one of the most interesting stories in the league and that story is finally being told in a new Showtime Sports documentary called “100%: Julian Edelman.” Filmmakers Asaaf Swissa & Kyler Schelling have known and worked with Edelman for a long time and started the documentary when the Patriots wide receiver had a season-ending injury in 2017.
“Our opening is Mark Wahlberg establishing that Julian is not famous enough to have this,” said Swissa in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Julian is a 7th round guy who’s been underrated his whole life. He [Kyler] was a first time filmmaker and I’m a two-time entrepreneurial failure. We knew we had to make something ourselves.”
“The story of this documentary is very to the story of Julian,” said Schelling. “It really shouldn’t exist. Through sheer force of will and entrepreneurial mentality, we manifested something that was greater than the sum of its parts.
One of the most intriguing parts of Edelman’s journey to the NFL and in his life is his relationship with his father Frank. While many father son relationships have been shown in movies and TV shows, this one is a little different from the rest.
“It’s a dirty Steve Jobs and his iPhone,” said Swissa. “That’s what Frank is, Frank built that thing with a hammer and clubs in a garage because Julian is not a genetic freak. Julian is not built to be a top wide receiver in the league. He was not born for it, he was made for it. There’s a huge distinction there. Kent State was the highlight, we was at community college for years.”
“I always knew that was a little bit of a nugget and I didn’t know how it was exactly going to manifest in the film,” said Schelling. “I think with the things that actually happened in the story, it kind of built upon itself in a very nice way. At the end of the day, Julian should be working at his dad’s garage. Julian should be a mechanic. The whole Julian Edelman story is the Frank story.”
While there are many shining moments in Edelman’s story, there’s also the stain of the PED suspension in 2018. As the film shows, this was one of the most difficult times in Edelman’s life.
“Julian talks to his dad Frank every single day,” said Swissa. “We counted and you’ll see this in the doc, they didn’t talk for 81 days. Frank is Julian’s center. It was crazy watching Julian devolve to tactics of training and getting his mind right that were totally foreign to him when he didn’t have his center. Frank didn’t like how Julian handled it and that’s what led to their split. As a filmmaker that suspension was a blessing. We were able to get a lot of people to do stuff with this guy inactive.”
“100%: Julian Edelman” premieres Friday, June 28 on Showtime.