Netflix has optioned the rights to The New York Times bestseller Shoe Dog, written by Phil Knight.
The book sees Nike co- founder and board chairman emeritus Phil Knight give us a window into the media-shy man behind the swoosh, illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $36 billion.
First published in April 2016, it remains on the NYT Best Seller list (June 2018 it was the #1 Monthly Best Seller for Sports and Fitness; #4 for Paperback Nonfiction on Print Paperback Best Seller list; #5 for Business Best Seller list). The book has been published in more than 40 languages worldwide.
Frank Marshall will produce the film alongside Knight. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Dolemite Is My Name!, Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) are writing the screenplay.
Marshall and Knight have a relationship dating back to the 1980’s, when they met during the production of Back To The Future.
“Ever since our collaboration on BTTF and being a runner myself, I’ve always been fascinated by Phil’s story and how the company came to be,” says Marshall. “It’s an amazing tale about what the path to success really looks like, with its mistakes, struggles, sacrifice and even luck.“
“I look forward to working with my friend, the great Frank Marshall, in bringing my story and the story of Nike to the screen,” adds Knight. “I have been gratified by the reception my book has received and think that we can explain my journey and the story of Nike to an even larger audience in collaboration with Netflix.”
Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, comments: “We couldn’t be more excited to be making “Shoe Dog” with Phil Knight, one of the world’s business icons and a great storyteller. Phil created a brand and a company that became much more than the swoosh. Through innovation, passion, and trial and error, Phil created something that became a part of our culture. We can’t wait to share that with the world. This project is also giving us the ability to extend our relationship with world class writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. They are fantastic collaborators and we are lucky to have them working with us, Frank and Phil and this project.”