LSU campus, Mike the Tiger to star in feature film ‘The Mascot’

LSU will play itself in The Mascot, a new scripted film that will shoot at the university this fall, the writer/director says.

Matthew Perkins plans to cast current student-athletes who will be compensated through name, image and likeness deals that the National Collegiate Athletic Association recently began allowing.

The family-friendly “heartfelt coming-of-age sports comedy” is about a blue-chip high school quarterback who loses his LSU football scholarship and “has to save face and seek redemption in college by doing something he never imagined, which is becoming the mascot,” Perkins says. LSU has granted permission to feature Mike the Tiger and the LSU brand, he says.

Casey Cott, best known for his role in The CW Network’s Riverdale, is set to star. The rest of the cast remains under wraps, though Perkins plans to include current football players and other athletes.

Perkins will be in town this week to scout locations. William Morris Endeavor, a major talent agency, is representing the film, and, if all goes well, the movie will be released in theaters late next year before a home release through a streaming service, he says.

“A personal dream of mine would be to do a screening in Tiger Stadium,” Perkins says.

The film is based partly on Perkins’ experience as the mascot for the University of Georgia from 2002 to 2005. He says he pitched the idea to officials there first, but there was “too much red and black tape” to film there.

“LSU’s response was ‘UGA’s loss is our gain,’” Perkins says.

While LSU has been a setting for several feature films, the university generally isn’t identified as such. Even in Everybody’s All American, the 1988 Dennis Quaid vehicle that filmed scenes at halftime of the LSU-Alabama game, the school was called the “University of Louisiana.”

This story originally appeared in a July 25 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.