TARO PR / MOVIE
Pacific Northwest Pictures will be releasing ODD MAN RUSH, a comedic coming-of-age hockey film based off a memoir by Bill Keenan about playing professional hockey in Europe and dreaming about the NHL. The film will be available on digital and on demand Friday, September 11th.
It is directed by Doug Dearth and stars Jack Mulhern (Locke & Key), Dylan Playfair (Letterkenny) with special appearances by Trevor Gretzky (Mile 22) and Alexa Lemieux, daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux.
Dylan Playfair was born in Fort St. James, British Columbia, the son of Roxanne, an entrepreneur and stay at home mother, and Jim Playfair, a former NHL player and coach. He has two younger brothers, Jackson and Austyn. All three boys grew up playing hockey and traveling around the United States and Canada as their father coached various minor league teams on his way to the NHL.
Playfair's diverse body of work includes the critically acclaimed comedy series Letterkenny, Disneys' Descendants 2, and Netflix's Haters Back Off and Travlers. Roles ranging from a young man dealing with extreme adversity in "Never Steady Never Still" to producing and staring in political documentaries centered on youth voter apathy (The Drop). Playfair began his career in film at the age of 19 after playing Jr. A Hockey in Canada. A graduate of Vancouver Acting school, he has also studied in Los Angeles during his career.
RELEASE: Available On Demand and Digital across Canada on Friday September 11th, 2020. DIRECTED BY: Doug Dearth
STARRING: Jack Mulhern Dylan Playfair Caspar Phillipson Elektra Kilbey Trevor Gretzky
Trevor Gretzky and Alexa Lemieux
When Bobby Sanders' Harvard hockey career ends with more surgeries than goals, he scores a spot on the fringes of pro hockey in the European minor leagues, ultimately landing in northern Sweden after being traded for a washer/dryer combo. But Bobby’s relationship with the Swedish check-out girl at the local market forces him to confront the reality of his childhood dream before the Hockey Gods intervene.
Based on Bill Keenan’s best-selling memoir, ODD MAN RUSH is a comical coming-of-age story set in the quirky world of European minor league hockey. The film chronicles the hijinks of Bobby Sanders, a hockey-obsessed kid from New York City, who dreams of playing in the NHL.
Starring Jack Mulhern (Locke & Key), Dylan Playfair (Letterkenny) with special appearances by Trevor Gretzky (Mile 22) and Alexa Lemieux, daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux.
When I first began reading Bill Keenan’s memoir “Odd Man Rush,” I was immediately grabbed by his humorous and self-deprecating approach to sharing his journey from a young hockey-obsessed boy, to playing in the Ivy League and finally landing in the absurd and bizarre world of the European hockey leagues. And being a fan of sports movies, this was right up my alley.
But what really struck me were the layers of complexity within the story. On one level, it was a gritty and raucous ride -- like a modern-day “Slap Shot” -- one of my all-time favorite hockey movies. And on the other hand, it was heartfelt and thought-provoking as it explored those moments in time when circumstances force us to reevaluate the path we are on and how much we are willing to continue giving up in order to chase a life-long dream that may never come true.
It was the balance between the relentless drive, camaraderie, and locker room antics that surround European hockey, and the impermanent, uncertain, and oftentimes lonely nature of chasing one’s dream that excited and challenged author Bill Keenan and me when writing the screenplay for “Odd Man Rush.” We chose to focus the story on a brief moment in time when our main character, Bobby Sanders, is traded up from his team in Germany to a higher league in Sweden. There, he quickly forms new friendships with his fellow teammates, and has an unexpected encounter with a beautiful girl who has ambitions of her own. As their relationship blossoms, Bobby is once again reminded of the sacrifice he will inevitably have to make if he is to continue pursuing his dream of playing in the NHL. And when an old injury makes an
appearance once again, he is forced to reconsider the journey he has been on his entire life,
and contemplate who he is without it.
Anyone who has ever had a dream and gone after it knows that from the minute this crazy
dream enters your head, it requires everything you have and then some to go after it. Being a
filmmaker for more than twenty-five years, I know all too much about the subject. And more
often than not, your relationships, your financial stability and your sanity are sacrificed in the
hope that someday it will all pay off and you will finally live your dream. But how long do we
wait for that “someday” to arrive? How much are we willing to give up along the way? And at
what point do we realize that the journey itself might just be the dream we’ve been chasing?
These are the themes that we explore in “Odd Man Rush,” all while going on an authentic,
absurd and wild ride through the bowels of European hockey.
BASED ON THE BOOK ODD MAN RUSH
Written by Bill Keenan
SLATER BROTHERS ENTERTAINMENT
GOOD YOU PRODUCTIONS
CHAIR 10 PRODUCTIONS
COURTESY OF TARO PR