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Friday Night Lights (2004) Poster

Trivia

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Roy Williams, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, has a cameo as assistant coach to Odessa's rival team. He played for Permian in high school.
The real James 'Boobie' Miles can be seen standing next to Derek Luke (playing Boobie Miles) several times throughout the film. He is wearing a black Permian jacket and hat.
Derek Luke, who played high school player James 'Boobie' Miles, was actually 30 years old during filming. In the movie, he is portrayed as a teenager.
The video clips used to show Dallas Carter playing the "Hays Rams" was actually a playoff game between the 02-03 Richardson Berkner Rams. One of the players captured from the Berkner highlights was Aqib Talib, who went on to become an All-American at Kansas and a first-round NFL Draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Neither Derek Luke nor Lee Thompson Young ever played organized football before acting in this film.
Frustrated with the authenticity of some actors playing assistant coaches, director Peter Berg turned to actual Permian High School coaches to deliver some lines during game sequences.
Texan experimental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky scored the movie. The producer used small pieces of older songs by Explosions in the Sky as placeholders, but eventually grew so fond of the pieces that he licensed them along with the original score produced by the band.
At the end of the movie where Permian is trying to score right before the last play, director Peter Berg can be seen jumping up and down in the stands.
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Buzz Bissinger, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, and director and co-writer Peter Berg are cousins.
Alan J. Pakula was originally set to direct this film before his death.
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Garrett Hedlund gained an about additional 20 lbs for this movie on top of the 30 lbs that he had gained for Troy (2004). He was up to 200 lbs when he'd usually been 155.
Live-action game sequences from the 2003 Permian High School football season are interspersed throughout the film. Director Peter Berg matched the uniforms and on-field jersey numbers for acted sequences so that the live clips would blend. Game sequences were shot on location at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa and the Astrodome in Houston.
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The book displays several instances of racism and use of racial slurs to black players. When the makers of the movie asked Permian HighSchool to use all of their facilities for authenticity the school agreed only on the terms that all racism from the book not be included in the film to avoid a negative image on the school and town.
To gather research, producers visited real high school football games in Texas during the fall of 2003.
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There are only two title cards at the beginning of the movie. The first is "The following story is based on the 1988 West Texas football season." The second is the movie title. The cast and crew are not shown until the end of the movie.
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Billy Bob Thornton and Lucas Black worked together on All The Pretty Horses (2000) 4 years earlier. Which was directed by Billy Bob Thornton. They also starred together in Sling Blade.
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In exterior shots of the Astrodome, digital editing was used to remove the four exterior pedestrian-ramp columns, which were added in 1989 to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Richard Linklater was attached to this project before 'Peter Berg' but it was scrapped due to budget difficulties.
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The state trooper who pulls up next to Chavez and Billingsley outside of the 7-11 is driving a special police package Ford Mustang that was made from the early 1980s to 1993, and Texas DPS did indeed use these cars at the time.
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The real life Brian Chavez did go to Harvard and got a law degree. But then he moved back to Odessa and started going to Permian football games with one of his old teammates, longing for his old glory days on the field. One day, angered by a historic Permian loss in a heated rivalry game, Chavez rounded up a posse, broke into a house party and started brawling with the attendants. His motivation: His girlfriend's ex-husband was at the party, and had been fighting with her over the phone while Chavez was trying to watch the game. Chavez was eventually forced to plead guilty to "burglary with intent to commit assault," and had to settle lawsuits with the victims. Although he avoided jail time, he did have his law license invalidated by the Texas State Bar. He has since turned his life around but this incident had ultimately proved that the pull of Permian high-school football was too much for even the smartest and most grounded player to escape.
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Both Connie Britton and Brad Leland also play similar characters in the TV show Friday Night Lights (2006). Connie plays the wife in both the movie and TV show. Brad plays a character who is close with coach and the team in both as well.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In reality, the 1988 Permian High School Panthers lost to Dallas-Carter in the state semi-finals, not the state finals. Carter did go on to win the state championship, but was later forced to forfeit its entire season when it was discovered that an academically ineligible player had been allowed to play after his grades were changed.
In the movie, Boobie Miles gets injured in a season game against Midland Lee. In real life, Miles was injured in a pre-season scrimmage against Palo Duro High School.
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When Boobie is getting in the car after he cleans out his locker you can see a microphone on his back and the wire
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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