TORONTO - CBC is bringing the true-life stories of Gordie Howe and Jack Layton to television with two newly announced biopics.

The public broadcaster has commissioned separate films centred on the hockey icon and the late federal NDP leader.

"Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story" will focus on the star player's famed return to the NHL at age 45, playing professionally alongside his 18- and 19-year-old sons — a comeback that some labelled as the biggest publicity stunt in hockey history.

"Smilin' Jack: The Jack Layton Story" will be set against the backdrop of the 2011 federal election and the weeks that followed, chronicling the rise of the late politician as well as the love story between Layton and Olivia Chow.

CBC has also given the green light to a third film, "Still Life," based on the award-winning novels by Louise Penny, about murder in small-town Quebec.

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    Thousands gathered outside Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Ontario, on August 27, 2011 to watch the broadcast of the state funeral of Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton. Layton died August 22. (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Remembering Jack

    Flowers are left in tribute for former Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton in front of the Parliament building on August 23, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday he regrets that he never 'jammed' with his friend and longtime rival, opposition leader Jack Layton, who died overnight of cancer at age 61. 'Now, as you know, Jack was a musician. He was quite a natural one at that,' Harper said outside the House of Commons. Jack Layton, whose popularity and political skill helped his New Democrats surge past the Liberals to become Canada's official opposition party. Layton died August 22 of cancer. He was 61. (MICHEL COMTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    The coffin containing NDP Opposition Leader Jack Layton is pictured during his state funeral in Toronto August 27, 2011. More than 2,000 people turned out Saturday, August 27, 2011 for the state funeral of Canada's former opposition chief Jack Layton, who died earlier this week of cancer -- a tribute celebrating his message of hope. Layton, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) surged past the Liberals in elections earlier this year to become Canada's official opposition, lost his battle with cancer on Monday. He was 61. (CHRIS WATTIE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    The coffin containing NDP Opposition Leader Jack Layton is carried away during his state funeral in Toronto August 27, 2011. More than 2,000 people turned out Saturday, August 27, 2011 for the state funeral of Canada's former opposition chief Jack Layton, who died earlier this week of cancer -- a tribute celebrating his message of hope. Layton, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) surged past the Liberals in elections earlier this year to become Canada's official opposition, lost his battle with cancer on Monday. He was 61. (CHRIS WATTIE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    Olivia Chow reacts during the state funeral for her husband NDP Opposition Leader Jack Layton in Toronto August 27, 2011. More than 2,000 people turned out Saturday, August 27, 2011 for the state funeral of Canada's former opposition chief Jack Layton, who died earlier this week of cancer -- a tribute celebrating his message of hope. Layton, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) surged past the Liberals in elections earlier this year to become Canada's official opposition, lost his battle with cancer on Monday. He was 61. (CHRIS WATTIE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    Laureen Harper wipes her eye beside her husband Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the state funeral for NDP Opposition Leader Jack Layton in Toronto August 27, 2011. More than 2,000 people turned out Saturday August 27, 2011 for the state funeral of Canada's former opposition chief Jack Layton, who died earlier this week of cancer -- a tribute celebrating his message of hope. Layton, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) surged past the Liberals in elections earlier this year to become Canada's official opposition, lost his battle with cancer on Monday. He was 61. (MIKE CASSESE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    Former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis delivers the eulogy at the state funeral for the late New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Ontario on August 27, 2011. Jack Layton, whose popularity and political skill helped his New Democrats surge past the Liberals to become Canada's official opposition earlier this year, has died at the age of 61. (Nathan Denette/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    Olivia Chow (C) reacts during the eulogy at the state funeral for NDP Opposition Leader Jack Layton in Toronto August 27, 2011. More than 2,000 people turned out Saturday August 27, 2011 for the state funeral of Canada's former opposition chief Jack Layton, who died earlier this week of cancer -- a tribute celebrating his message of hope. Layton, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) surged past the Liberals in elections earlier this year to become Canada's official opposition, lost his battle with cancer on Monday. He was 61. (MIKE CASSESE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Layton's Funeral

    A Police honor guard carry the coffin of Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton, following a state funeral in Toronto, Ontario on August 27, 2011. (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)