Oscar-Winning CODA Star Troy Kotsur to Lead Disney+ Series About Deaf High School Football Team

Actor Troy Kotsur, who walked way with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year for his performance in the Apple TV+ film CODA, has found his next project. According to Entertainment Weekly, Kotsur will star in and executive produce a new Disney+ series inspired by the football team hailing from the California School for the Deaf, Riverside. In the series Kotsur will play the team's coach. The project, currently without a title, sees Kotsur reunite with his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin, who will also executive produce the series. Ron Shelton (Bull Durham; White Men Can't Jump) will direct the pilot for the series, co-writing with Ben Shelton (Candy Jar).

The TV series will focus on the 2021 season for the football team, a year when the CSDR Cubs had an undefeated season and even playing in the California State Championship game, a first in the history of the school. The captains for the team even appeared on the field for the coin toss at Super Bowl LVI earlier this year. EW reports that the series "will not only follow the historical undefeated football season, but will also tell stories of the Deaf community – students, teachers, and families – both on and off the field." They add that the crew and cast for the series will be made up of people from the Deaf community.

"It's inspiring for the deaf community quite honestly. 11 and 0 we've never experienced this being this far in playoffs," coach Keith Adams previously said in an interview with ABC News during their season. "The community is so excited, the morale has been uplifted, the self-esteem of our players -- you can see a major difference."

Though he previously appeared in a few films and television episodes in his career, CODA marked a breakout moment for Kotsur as a performer as he would go on to win a BAFTA, Critic's Choice Award, Independent Spirit Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award in addition to the Oscar. Before he starred in CODA though he did make his mark on a galaxy far, far away. Appearing as one of the Tusken Raider Scouts in The Mandalorian and even helping the crew to establish a signing language for the "sand people."

"It's really amazing that our film, CODA, has reached out worldwide," Kotsur said via ASL in his acceptance speech at The Academy Awards. "It even reached all the way to the White House, and they invited the cast of CODA to visit and have a tour of the White House, and we met President Joe and Dr. Jill, and I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language, but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself. So don't worry, Marlee, I won't drop any F-bombs in my speech today. Instead I want to thank all of the deaf theater stages where I was allowed and given the opportunity to develop my craft as an actor."  

(Cover Photo by Doug Peters/PA Images via Getty Images)