Justin Lin to Remake 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' Sundance Doc
One documentary that made a splash at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival (besides the Roger Ebert centric Life Itself and higher education examination Ivory Tower) was The Battered Bastards of Baseball. Directors Chapman Way and Maclain way tell the story of of Bing Russell (father of actor Kurt Russell), who created the only independent baseball team in 1973, the Portland Mavericks. The elder Russell led a team without Major League affiliation, giving hopes to those who were rejected from organizes baseball. The team turned out to be quite a major success, and now the doc will get the remake treatment.
THR has word that Justin Lin (Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6) has picked up the rights to remake the film as a narrative, and will self-finance by way of his own Perfect Storm banner. The filmmaker beat out Fox Searchlight, Columbia Pictures and DreamWorks for the rights, so it must be something he's rather passionate about. Eric Vespe of AICN called the film "an entertaining documentary that doesn't have to sacrifice emotion," and the film received a standing ovation when it premiered at Sundance.
It seems a pure coincidence that the Fast & Furious franchise Lin handed over to James Wan for the seventh installment will feature Kurt Russell, who also played on the aforementioned team. Maybe Russell could play his father in the film. But that will be up to Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom), since he's being tapped to direct. Funnily enough, he was actually the team's batboy as a young child. Before this project gets off the ground, we suggest seeing the doc first, but this should make a hell of a narrative film.