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Film set to be produced in Chisholm pays homage to MN hockey lore

CHISHOLM, MN — A Minnesota-based writer is hoping to take a shot at highlighting a state rich with hockey history.

Fundraising is underway to take the story to the silver screen in a film called “Way of the Warriors”.

The Chisholm Water tower may not look like the Hollywood sign, and the basement of city hall certainly doesn’t look like Universal Studios, but for “Way of the Warriors” screenwriter John Montague, Ironbound Studio is all he needs.

It’s an independent film about a small Iron Range town, with big hockey dreams.

“Just like Hoosiers told the story of Indiana Highschool basketball, and Friday Night Lights told the story of Texas Highschool football, we’re telling the story of Minnesota High school hockey,” said Montague.

It’s a classic underdog story. Although fiction, based on the lore of Iron Range hockey legends.

“I’ve really taken the time to tell everyone’s story, and make this a very authentic, Minnesota high school hockey story,” said Montague.

And where hockey is a religion, the Iron Range and Duluth with take center stage for all of the filming.

“Our goal in coming up here and shooting on the Range is to be very authentic,” said Montague.

Many of the scenes will be shot inside Ironbound Studios. And other scenes filmed at local hockey rinks. But for Montague, the story of hockey is also a story of values.

“It’s just an inspirational, authentic story, about overcoming adversity, and friendship, and family and faith,” he said.

A former hockey player, and a current coach, He said when taking a bus with his hockey team, he put on the movie “Miracle”. It was then he says his inspiration came as he realized there wasn’t a lot of meaningful hockey moves out there.

“No disrespect to the Mighty Ducks,” he said.

Making the movie is about highlighting the state of Minnesota.

“If you look at the way Minnesota has been chronicled in film, it generally hasn’t been authentic, and it generally hasn’t been positive. So, we wanted to tell a story about Minnesota, Northern Minnesota in particular, a story that’s very authentic, and really tells the story of how great the people and the places, and the unique culture of Minnesota truly is,” he said.

And to create a movie where heroes are remembered and legends never die.

“People know what the rich tradition of hockey is up here. They know how important the game is to this part of the state, and this part of the country. To tell that story in a very powerful, authentic way, is I think going to give everyone a lot of pride,” said Montague.

The movie is scheduled to begin production in February. with a tentative release date of Thanksgiving 2019.

Fundraising is still ongoing to make the movie happen. You can find more information on those efforts here. 

The full conceptual trailer can be seen here. 

Reporter Anthony Matt

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