Deadline‘s Mike Fleming is reporting that Casey Affleck is going to write and direct a movie about baseball player Josh Hamilton, to be produced by Basil Iwanyk and Thunder Road Pictures, who produced Affleck’s brother Ben’s movie The Town.
The Texas Rangers’ outfielder was first drafted into major league baseball in 1999 at the age of 18, but took to alcoholism and drug abuse to help ease the pressures of being in the big league. After being sent to rehab, he’s been clean and sober since 2005 and in that time he has become a four-time MLB All-Star as well as being named “Most Valuable Player” for the American League in 2010.
Affleck previously co-directed the faux documentary I’m Still Here, following his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix’s desire to give up acting for a rap career. Since then, Affleck has appeared in films such as Brett Ratner’s comedy Tower Heist and will star in Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace as Christian Bale’s brother. He starts filming Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara in July.
Hamilton, his wife Katie and business manager Steve Reed will co-produce the film with Thunder Road’s Kent Kubena as executive producer.
Warner Bros., Iwanyk’s base of operations, will have the first crack at releasing the inspirational baseball movie before they go out to other studios.
Iwanyk told Mike Fleming:
I truly think this guys story is one of the most inspiring stories Ive ever read. Its also tailor-made for a movie: it has the mythic quality of ‘The Natural,’ the faith-based angle of ‘The Blind Side,’ and faith is a major part of our story, and the romance of Walk the Line. Casey has totally captured those elements in his take for the movie. It is an extraordinary odyssey that took him from the depths of drug addiction, estrangement from his family, and suspension from baseball to a spectacular rebirth of his life, faith, marriage and major league career.
(Affleck photo credit: WENN.com)