About Bright Path Movie

BRIGHT PATH is a forthcoming major motion picture about Jim Thorpe’s life and legacy from a powerful partnership between Hollywood and strong leadership from Indian Country.

Producers Todd Black, Abraham Taylor and Angelina Jolie, along with a growing list of Native American Tribal partners*, are in the final stages of development on a film they aim to have in production in mid-2021.

Jim Thorpe will be played by Martin Sensmeier of Tlingit & Koyukon-Athabascan Tribes; the first time Thorpe will be portrayed by a Native American in a feature film. Taylor and Alex Nibley penned early drafts of the script with Sterlin Harjo of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma and Kyle Kauwika Harris of the Choctaw Nation penning subsequent drafts.

Executive Producers include: Christopher Taylor (Chitimacha Tribe of LA), Nedra Darling (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), Josh Aker, Justine Hunt, Robert W Wheeler (Biographer, author Jim Thorpe: World’s Greatest Athlete), Martin Sensmeier, and Rick Hill, Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin (In loving memory).

“After optioning a powerful screenplay on Pop Warner as the football and track coach at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, I went on a deep dive into a history I had never been taught. My eyes were opened to the atrocities of the Indian boarding schools—the attempted annihilation of culture, language, customs and community and familial relationships, which were clearly an extension of the U.S. Government’s Indian Wars, although in a far more insidious way.

During a research trip to Carlisle, as I absorbed the feeling of that place, I was struck by the grave of a young 'Abe Lincoln, Son of the Antelope Cheyenne.' I knew from what I was learning that the child's mother didn’t name him after Abraham Lincoln. But mine did; that’s where I got my name. And the connection to that young man's story, in those few words on his epitaph, and a shared name, started me on a journey down a different path, as I realized the world didn’t need another “white savior” movie—it needed to know the REAL story of Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle school.”

~ Abraham Taylor, Producer


A young Sac and Fox and Potawatomi man resists the government’s attempt to strip him and his fellow Native American youth of their identity and culture. Spurred on by the last words his father ever spoke to him, “Son, you’re an Indian, I want you to show other races what an Indian can do,” Jim Thorpe transcends every obstacle to become a beacon of hope for Native people and “The World’s Greatest Athlete.”

*Tribal partners with BRIGHT PATH: The Tuolumne Band of Mewuk Indians, The Mohegan Tribe, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, The Tonto Apache Tribe, The Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Mewuk Indians of California, Sealaska Corporation, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians

Gear | Bright Path Strong

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