Calico Joe: George Clooney to Direct Film Based on John Grisham’s Novel
Academy Award-nominated actor George Clooney and long-time collaborator Grant Heslov are in the process of developing a film adaptation of Calico Joe, based on bestselling author John Grisham’s baseball-themed drama novel of the same name. On top of producing, Clooney is also expected to helm the project.
“John has written a beautiful story and the chance to collaborate with Bob to bring it to the screen is just fantastic,” said Clooney and Heslov in a joint statement (via Deadline).
First published in 2012, Calico Joe is set in the world of Major League Baseball which will center around three characters about a father and a son as well as a young rookie who has a promising future ahead of him. The story was also inspired by the real-life story of Ray Chapman and Grisham’s own experience where he once dreamt of becoming a professional baseball player before experiencing a near-fatal pitch that made him quit the sport.
The official synopsis reads: “It’s the summer of 1973, and Joe Castle is the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone has ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas, dazzles Chicago Cubs fans as he hits home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shatters all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly becomes the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing New York Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faces Calico Joe, Paul is in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his dad. Then Warren throws a fastball that will change their lives forever.”
The film adaptation will be produced by Clooney and Heslov through their Smokehouse Pictures banner along with Grey Water Park Productions’ Bob Dylan. ZQ Entertainment is financing the script development with Petr Jkl, Ara Keshishian and Martin J. Barab set as executive producers.
“George and Grant see in this book what I see in it – a powerful story that will resonate with young and old alike. People in all walks of life will be able relate to it,” Dylan said.