Justin Lin to adapt 'Battered Bastards of Baseball'

Lin's Perfect Storm acquires remake rights for Sundance sports documentary

So what's Justin Lin working on now? Add yet another movie to his giant, growing pile of projects. The Fast & Furious director's production company Perfect Storm beat out several buyers at the Sundance Film Festival to acquire the narrative remake rights for the documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball.

Sundance: Justin Lin to Adapt 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' Doc (Exclusive)

The sports documentary, which premiered last week at Sundance, tells the unheralded true story of the late Hollywood veteran actor Bing Russell -- father of Kurt -- who in 1973 created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the Portland Mavericks, a ragtag underdog team that defied the odds.

It's just one of those feel-good sports stories. You can see why studios like Columbia Pictures, Fox Searchlight and DreamWorks were all clamoring for a shot at the remake rights. But Justin's got 'em.

The film chronicles the story of the late Bing Russell (a Hollywood veteran best known for playing Deputy Clem on Bonanza), who in 1973 created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the Portland Mavericks. Bing operated without Major League affiliation while playing in a city that was considered a wasteland for professional baseball. Tryouts for the Mavericks, which were open to the public, were filled with hopefuls who arrived in droves from every state in America, many of whom had been rejected by organized baseball.

Skeptics agreed it would never work. But Bing's Mavericks generated unprecedented success: They shattered attendance records, signed actor Kurt Russell -- Bing's son -- as a player and team vp, produced one of the most successful batboys in baseball (filmmaker Todd Field), relaunched the controversial career of pitcher Jim Bouton, hired the first female GM in baseball and inspired one of America's beloved bubble gums (Big League Chew).
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Field, who was once the 13-year-old batboy for the Mavericks, is in talks to write and direct the adaptation. No doubt, they'll also want to get Kurt Russell involved somehow.

More here: Justin Lin to Produce Adaptation of Doc 'Battered Bastards of Baseball'

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