Tom Brady has won seven Super Bowls. That is more, individually, than any franchise in NFL history. The New England Patriots, who had Brady as their quarterback for two decades, have won six championships, many with the so-called GOAT. The Pittsburgh Steelers also have six. Brady toppled the Kansas City Chiefs as QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning his seventh Lombardi trophy. This is, to say the very least of it, a tremendous accomplishment. Not to mention that Brady was 43. Few players have ever taken the field at that age, let alone play on the level that Brady is. It’s remarkable. All of this to say, Tom Brady’s story has the makings of a Hollywood biopic written all over it. If this wasn’t something that was going to happen already, his last Super Bowl victory made it feel like an inevitability.
A miniseries was released by ESPN Films, titled Man in the Arena: Tom Brady. The documentary-style series chronicles his career, touching a little on his personal life. Ultimately, it was all about his career highlights from his perspective. While this is a nice watch for any Brady fan, there is something more that a biopic could offer. It’d be a chance to look at his life in a way no documentary has before, and it has the potential to connect with any audience who wants to see a story of perseverance winning the day. Whether it be a film or the recently announced limited series, there is a lot of potential in this story.
Whether you are exhausted by Tom Brady’s greatness or hold him up as a god of the sports world, there is a story to tell here. A story of, perhaps, one of the greatest athletes to ever live, in any sport. If Brady’s job is to be good at football, one could argue that nobody has ever been better at their job than Brady is at his. But that raises an interesting, if simple, question; who should play Tom Brady in the seemingly inevitable biopic? We are here to provide some possibilities.
Updated on October 14th, 2023, by Nikole Finger: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.
12 Logan Lerman
The star of movies such as Fury and the Percy Jackson franchise, Logan Lerman has certainly had a fine career in Hollywood. However, it feels like he has the potential to pop beyond what we have already seen.
He has the looks to convincingly play Tom Brady on screen. Being that the star is in his early 30s, he could play the NFL star in his prime. One issue? He’s only 5’9″. But that is something that could certainly be worked around if the filmmakers behind this proposed movie figured Lerman was the right man for the job otherwise.
11 Tom Holland
Once again setting aside height (5’8″ in this case), it is easy to see the pitch meeting on this one. Tom Holland, the likable star behind the current iteration of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, takes on one of the great sports stories of all time.
Holland, as of this writing, is in his 20s. That puts him at the right age to play Tom Brady in the early years of his career. Holland has the charm, the looks, and the blockbuster chops to make this the Bohemian Rhapsody of sports biopics. This one is almost too easy to picture.
10 Antony Starr
Brady reached his career peak in his 30s, so any biopic would probably want to cover this era to some degree. Unfortunately, Antony Starr is a bit older than that. Fortunately, he doesn’t look it. Starr may be best known for his role as Homelander in The Boys.
While Brady isn’t a super-powered maniac, he does have quite the presence. This is exactly the kind of energy Starr has brought to the role of Homelander, and he could easily bring that same presence to the role of Brady.
9 Billy Howle
Billy Howle is a British actor, but at 6 foot and in his early 30s, he wouldn’t have that hard a time portraying the football player. While he would certainly have to bulk up a bit for the part, changing up his accent wouldn’t be a challenge, as Howle has been able to do so flawlessly for other roles.
His portfolio includes projects like Under the Banner of Heaven and Outlaw King. Howle may not be the most easily recognizable name on the list, but that could work in his favor. It can be hard to see popular actors in roles other than their most famous ones, taking away from the believability that anyone else could be Brady.
8 Joe Keery
Joe Keery made himself known to the world on Netflix’s Stranger Things. The hair. That “can’t quite put my finger on it” charm. One could see Keery bulking up just a bit and putting on a Patriots uniform to look the part.
Keery is currently in the same age range as Lerman, which would allow him to play Tom Brady right in the sweet spot of his career when he was dominating the NFL in a way the world had never seen. The only perceivable setback here, thinking as a producer might, is that Keery has not led a major blockbuster. This is Tom Brady we’re talking about. Not likely going to be a small-budget affair. But that is not necessarily going to disqualify anyone from landing a major role these days.
7 Barrett Carnahan
While he may not be the most obvious choice, actor Barrett Carnahan has a lot to offer. Having played a young John Kreese in the hit show Cobra Kai, Carnahan can clearly handle the physical training needed to play such a role. Like many other actors, he may not have the height to accurately portray the football player, but a little movie magic could do the trick.
6 Wyatt Russell
Wyatt Russell may have a famous father, but he’s a talented actor with his own impressive resume. Russell has proved himself as a strong star in the action genre, acting in projects like Marvel’s Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
This makes him a perfect fit for playing a football player. One other advantage of casting him would be that he can pass for a somewhat wide age range, so there is the opportunity to show Brady throughout his career.
5 Dylan O’Brien
Another actor who feels like they are just waiting for the opportunity to be taken to the next level, Dylan O’Brien, in his early 30s, feels like a good fit for a flashy project such as this. He’s got the classically handsome, good looks for it. He’s got plenty of experience, starring in MTV’s Teen Wolf, as well as The Maze Runner franchise, and he knows his way around hardship.
O’Brien suffered a devastating injury while filming Maze Runner: The Death Cure, yet made it back to his chosen profession. He could channel that energy to the struggles that come with an NFL career, like Tom Brady losing not once, but twice, in the Super Bowl to Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Or when Brady suffered a knee injury, ending his 2008 season, a season in which the Patriots missed the playoffs despite winning 11 games.
4 Nick Robinson
Nick Robinson is just waiting for that meaty, breakout lead role in a movie that gets noticed. Robinson won a great deal of acclaim for his lead performance in Love, Simon, but the movie was a bit under-seen.
He had a major role in Jurassic World, one of the highest-grossing movies in history, but he was part of a larger ensemble. He’s got the looks and the talent. Provided the opportunity to step into Tom Brady’s shoes, it feels like the kind of thing that could put him on another level. In his 20s, he’s the kind of actor who could prove to be the perfect vehicle to tell Brady’s unique tale.
3 Jacob Elordi
At 6′ 5” and in his mid-twenties, Jacob Elordi could easily pass for a football player in his prime. Elordi has been known around Hollywood as a heartthrob, specifically playing the emotionally damaged bad boy with a heart of gold, or at least who isn’t completely horrible.
He was in the Kissing Booth movies, as well as Euphoria. Unfortunately, he has been typecast as the damaged boy, so one can only imagine that he could love to break the cycle. Playing a character like Brady would be a great opportunity for Elordi to spread his wings a bit.
2 Patrick Schwarzenegger
Patrick Schwarzenegger may not quite be as famous as his dad, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least not yet. But that could change. Much like his father, the younger Schwarzenegger is built like an athlete.
6’1″, 27 years old, and gifted with looks, the star of Daniel Isn’t Real could easily parlay the gifts he’s been given to tell the tale of the one they call Tom Brady. Again, this is a situation where the actor hasn’t put a big-budget project squarely on his shoulders. But the rising star could easily overcome that if he has room on his resume after The Boys spinoff, Gen V.
1 Tom Brady Should Play Tom Brady in the Inevitable Tom Brady Movie
Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at perhaps the most obvious choice. Who better to play Tom Brady in a Tom Brady biopic than the man himself? The football player has some choice acting experience, such as his cameo in Ted 2 but, if he’s playing himself, that becomes less of a factor. Age, however, is a factor.
Again, thanks to modern advances in movie-making, that is also something that can be worked around. Just look at what Martin Scorsese did with The Irishman. Actors can be de-aged now. And the technology is only getting better. We saw a young Michael Douglas in Avengers: Endgame. A young Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Why not a young Brady in his very own biopic? Plus, it would be the most Tom Brady thing ever to be cast as himself in a movie about himself. Your move, movie-making people of Hollywood.