With the surprise success of 2013’s 42, Legendary Pictures wants to keep their interests on the field. To do so they’ll trade Jackie Robinson for Roberto Clemente, as the Pittsburgh Pirates legend gets his life story optioned for the big screen.
The untitled film is based upon David Maraniss‘ “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero“, and the company also entered agreements with Clemente’s family for his life rights. Additionally, this upcoming biopic apparently comes from the heart for Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, as he’s a board member on the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
Clemente is the first Latino player ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This was an honor served posthumously after the baseball player died in a plane crash in Puerto Rico on New Year’s Eve, 1972, following efforts to help organize disaster relief in Nicaragua after an earthquake. Beyond his charity work, he earned both the National League MVP in 1966 and World Series MVP in 1971, both of which he received as a Pirate, the only team he ever played for professionally for between 1955-1972. Even today, Clemente remains among the few players to have 3,000 career hits.
[amz asin=”074329999X” size=”small”]No actors, director or screenwriters are signed on at the moment, and naturally this project is in the very early stages of development.
Even two years later, I stand pretty on-the-fence on Legendary’s last baseball biopic. Chadwick Boseman knocked it out of the park — no pun intended….seriously — and the film’s glossy, well-intentioned story mechanics fit the era it tried to emulate. That said, the hammiest of the whole project was thick enough to choke Babe Ruth on a night out, and it’s odd that the one time Harrison Ford tries in a movie he somehow gives an even worse performance.
That said, I hold out hope for Clemente’s theatrical life story. The right fielder’s a rightful legend here in the ‘Burgh, and as baseball’s the one real professional sport I tend to follow on a regular basis I want this to be as respectful and diligent to the player as he deserves. It’s not often I get invested in sports movies, but this is one life story which can really be a home run. [THR]