I just walked out of a screening of the Sundance documentary Battered Bastards of Baseball to find that Fast Five director Justin Lin has acquired the rights to turn the story into a feature film. He will produce the film, and they are looking to hire Todd Field to write and direct the movie.
While I was watching the doc I was thinking to myself how awesome of a movie this would make, and I have to say that I'm so happy that a movie is coming. This is such a great story, and the documentary was amazing. I'm not even a fan of baseball, but this doc gave me more of an appreciation for the sport.
The story follows Bing Russell (Kurt Russell's dad) who in 1973 created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the Portland Mavericks. The team brought in all of the rejects that the major leagues didn't want, and they crated a very successful, wild, and fun team that the city of Portland loved.
Field is the perfect guy to direct the film. He not only directed films such as In the Bedroom and Little Children, but he was actually the batboy for the Mavericks baseball team when he was a kid. So he has first hand experience with what that team was really like.
I loved the doc, and now I can't wait to see the movie. It would be so cool if they ended up casting Kurt Russell to play his dad in the film. It would really be an amazing role for the actor.
Here's the synopsis for the documentary with a few more details:
Chapman and Maclain Way’s energetic telling of one of baseball’s great, unheralded stories is as much about independent spirit as it is about the game. When Portland, Oregon, lost its longtime minor-league affiliate, Bing Russell—who briefly played ball professionally before enjoying a successful Hollywood acting career—bought the territory and formed a single-A team to operate outside the confines of major-league baseball. When they took the field in 1973, the Mavericks—the only independent team in America—started with two strikes against them. What did Deputy Clem from Bonanza know about baseball? Or Portland, for that matter? The only thing uniting his players, recruited at open tryouts, was that no other team wanted them. Skeptics agreed that it could never work.
But Bing understood a ballplayer’s dreams, and he understood an audience. His quirky, unkempt castoffs won games, and they won fans, shattering minor-league attendance records. Their spirit was contagious, and during their short reign, the Mavericks—a restaurant owner turned manager, left-handed catcher, and blackballed pitcher among them—brought independence back to baseball and embodied what it was all about: the love of the game.