Five-time Emmy Award-winning Director, Producer and Filmmaker Nick Nanton is gearing up to helm a documentary on the real story of Rudy Ruettiger, famously known as the inspiration for the 1993 film, Rudy. While Rudy does tell the encouraging story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and his dream to play on the Notre Dame football team, key points and inspirational lessons in Rudy’s life were lessened in the original movie that can provide true inspiration to others. This documentary will tell Rudy’s full story along with the journey of making the movie, which truly embodies the phrase, “Never give up on anything.”
The film, tentatively titled “Real Heroes™: The Rudy Story,” begins principal photography in April 2017 in South Bend, Indiana, where The University of Notre Dame is located.
“After discussing the initial notion to make the documentary, Rudy, myself, and one of the Executive Producers, Randy Garn, walked through the idea. We assessed how it would work, what would be great about it, what could go wrong, and we all agreed 100% that this needed to be done. This is a story that needs to be told,” said Nanton. Nanton’s films have been nominated for a total of 22 Emmy® Awards and he received his fifth Emmy® for the film, Return to Esperanza, in 2016. Nanton is also the CEO of DNA Media and oversees a portfolio of companies including: The Dicks + Nanton Agency (an international agency with more than 3000 clients in 36 countries), Dicks + Nanton Productions, Ambitious.com, CelebrityPress, DNA Films®, DNA Pulse, and DNA Capital Ventures.
“This film is going to contain life lessons that you want your children, friends, colleagues, etc. to know. It will explain all the different paths that Rudy took to achieve his dream, and the unwavering faith he had to exercise in order to get there,” said Nanton. Furthermore, this documentary continues where the original film, Rudy, leaves off. It elaborates on the journey you must take after you realize your life’s goal and the acquisition of new dreams.
Today, Rudy Ruettiger is a highly sought after motivational speaker. He’s spoken at events for Corporate America, Sports teams, Elementary schools and everything in between, including at the White House during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. Rudy has a contagious enthusiasm and keeps his audience entertained with his jovial personality and heartfelt messages that derive from his own trials and triumphs. His belief that all dreams are attainable stays with his audiences forever and has them heading home with renewed hope in themselves and their goals.
Rudy has received such distinctions as an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College, the Distinguished American Award, A Proclamation from the Governor of Nevada granting an Official Rudy Award Day, and induction into the Speakers Hall of Fame. He has also appeared on nationally televised talk and radio shows through the country and has been featured in multiple national magazine publications, and received the key to many cities throughout the US.
Due to his belief in spreading hope and the power of dreams, Rudy co-founded two organizations to help children pursue their “unlikely” dreams. Rudy International and The Rudy Foundation offer scholarships to help other “Rudys” out there. The foundations award thousands of dollars annually for kids to pursue their dreams in education, sports and the performing arts.
“This is the most mainstream documentary I’ve ever done in the sense that everyone has seen or heard of Rudy the movie. To be able to go back and tell the full story of the man who has spread so much positivity and hope is truly humbling,” said Nanton. “I want to help people learn how to achieve their dreams too. That’s why I’m so excited for this project and to be able to share Rudy’s story.”