Kevin James cast as NFL coach Sean Payton in Netflix’s Home Team; fans don’t seem very pleased

Promotional still of Kevin James in The Crew.
Kevin James will play Sean Payton, the NFL coach of the New Orleans Saints. Pic credit: Netflix

King of Queens actor Kevin James has been working hard for Netflix lately — having just headlined its new NASCAR series The Crew.

However, he’s making a big athletic jump from race car crew to football coach in the upcoming movie Home Team.

In this movie, James will play Sean Payton, the NFL head coach of the New Orleans Saints. NBC Sports columnist Peter King writes that the movie will be produced by Happy Madison Productions, which is Adam Sandler’s production company.

Previously the company produced multiple films that James has starred in, including Paul Blart: Mall Cop and its sequel.

Here is everything we know about Home Team. 

What is Home Team? 

Home Team is expected to follow Payton’s time spent in 2012 as a coach for his son’s middle school football team. This happened at a tumultuous moment in his life after he was suspended from the NFL during a scandal often referred to as Bountygate — one of the biggest scandals in sports history.

According to NBC Sports, the movie is expected to begin filming this year and Payton is personally involved. He has read the script and issues some corrections in order to ensure that the movie is factual. 

It has also been stated that Payton has met with James and gave the production his stamp of approval in regards to casting and the project. Payton was quoted saying, “Listen, I’m at that age where I don’t really care,” after expressing that he’s sure the production team will do a great job.

Although, when it comes to casting, fans don’t seem as pleased.

What have fans been saying about Kevin James casting in Home Team? 

While NBC Sports broke the ice on the casting announcement by saying, “My one thought about casting: James is going to need to lose a few pounds to play Payton,” fans have also expressed their thoughts on the movie’s casting.

Fans drew a comparison between Payton and Malcolm and the Middle’s Frankie Muniz. The podcast, Saints Happy Hour, tweeted a side-by-side of the two with the caption, “How could they cast Kevin James as Sean Payton when Frankie Munoz [sic] needs the work?”

NFL reporter Mike Triplett retweeted the podcast’s comment with their own dream Payton casting. They wrote, “The Frankie Muniz comps were popular when Payton first arrived in 2006. But nowadays I actually get more of a Bobby Axelrod vibe.”

Another person harshly wrote, “Who saw Kevin James and said “that’s the perfect guy to play Sean Payton” lmaoooooo.” 

The list is endless when it comes to dream casts for movies based on real-life events, but at least Home Team’s target audience already seems engaged— whether they are pro-Kevin James or not. 

Home Team is expected to premiere on Netflix.

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