Penny Marshall Returns to Directing With Effa Manley Biopic

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marshall2According to Deadline, Penny Marshall (Big, Awakenings) will direct her first feature film in over a decade with a biopic centered around Effa Manley, the American sports executive who became the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

This is, of course, familiar territory for Marshall, who helmed the 1992 hit A League of Their Own about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Like that film, the Effa Manley story is one of glass ceilings broken in WWII-era sports, with the African American woman serving as co-owner of the Newark Eagles baseball franchise with her husband Abe Manley from 1935 to 1946, and sole owner through 1948 after his death. The Eagles went on to win the 1946 Negro World Series.

“The story is a fascinating tale of a woman who broke through so many barriers and accomplished so much for the players and the game, during a time when the face of baseball changed forever,” Marshall said.

Byron Motley wrote the script, with Wendi Laski serving as producer. Marshall executive produces alongside Motley. The Effa Manley biopic is the first of a two-picture deal with Studioplex City LLC, and will shoot in Savannah, Georgia early next year.

Marshall has not directed a feature since 2001’s Riding in Cars With Boys, although she has helmed two episodes of Showtime’s “United States of Tera” as well as the TV movie “Women Without Men.”

(Photo Credit: WENN)