Despite two documentaries about the horse that have already appeared on national television on NBC and HBO, Universal’s planned feature film will recount the saga of Barbaro’s meteoric rise and subsequent critical injury suffered in the 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Through valiant efforts of Dr. Dean Richardson and the staff at the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania, and the horse’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro’s catastrophic leg injuries were treated through surgery and long-term care and the horse survived through nine months of treatment, until the onset of laminitis casued him to be put down in January.
Peter Berg is slated to direct Universal’s film, as well as co-produce with Sarah Aubrey. Bissinger is Berg’s cousin. The two teamed up for the 2004 Universal film “Friday Night Lights,” based on Bissinger’s football story and directed by Berg. It was later adapted into an NBC television series.
Berg is also directing the upcoming Universal film “The Kingdom,” and is currently in production on “Tonight, He Comes,” a film starring Charlize Theron and Will Smith.