Netflix added dozens of new shows and movies for the month of November, providing more binge-worthy titles for viewers still in quarantine. However, several titles had to leave in order to make room, including one Dwayne Johnson-led football flick. Gridiron Gang will no longer be available after Nov. 30.
Released in 2006 and loosely based on a true story, Gridiron Gang starred Johnson early in his acting career. He portrayed a man named Sean Porter, who works at a detention center in Los Angeles. Porter has goals of helping kids get away from their issues with drug dealing and street gangs but becomes frustrated when he is unable to do so. He then comes up with the idea of starting a football team.
Gridiron Gang also featured several prominent actors, including rapper Xzibit, who portrayed Malcolm Moore. Jurnee Smollett co-starred as Danyelle Rollins while Power star Omari Hardwick played Free. The film found decent success during its run in theaters, earning an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and grossing $38.4 million at the box office.
Speaking during an interview in 2006, Johnson explained what drew him to Gridiron Gang. He said that he works a lot with kids through After School All-Stars, Make-a-Wish and the Rock Foundation. He explained that he has seen people in similar situations to Porter in the past, and he expressed appreciation for the movie showing people that really care about the underprivileged.
"A guy like Sean Porter, who is in a thankless job and a selfless guy, still works to this day at a prison for kids," Johnson told BlackFilm.com. "He is a probation officer who just really wants to change their lives, who really, really, really cares." Johnson then continued and revealed that he had his own version of Porter growing up, a man who directly impacted his decision to attend the University of Miami and join a National Championship-winning football team.
"Yeah, I had my own Sean Porter. By the time I was fourteen, I was arrested seven or six times; by the time I was seventeen, it was nine," Johnson said. "But, I had a guy who cared. He was my arresting officer. He said, basically, 'You are going to stop f—ing up right now! You’re going to go out and play football!' So I had that guy who cared about me in my life. I played football for ten years, from fourteen to twenty-four, and I realize the invaluable tool that coaches have to be teachers."