Penny Marshall Returning to Directing with the Baseball Biopic 'Effa'
It's been 13 years since actress turned filmmaker Penny Marshall got behind the camera for Riding in Cars with Boys starring Drew Barrymore, but now she's poised to make a return to directing. Deadline reports Marshall is set to direct Effa, a biopic about Effa Manley, the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The film will follow the woman who rose in the ranks of the Negro National League in the 1930s and ’40s as a co-owner and business manager of the Newark Eagles, a team that would go on to win the 1946 Negro World Series. Sounds like it would make a solid double feature to go with last year's 42.
Here's what Marshall says about the story of Effa:
“The story is a fascinating tale of a woman who broke through so many barriers and accomplished so much for the players and the game, during a time when the face of baseball changed forever.”
This won't be the first time Marshall has hit the field on the big screen since she also directed the beloved baseball comedy A League of Their Own, which followed the establishment of America's first female baseball league during World War II. Effa has the potential to be much more harrowing and dramatic than that 1992 film though, though it could almost act as an unofficial prequel since it features a singular moment acknowledging that black women didn't have a place in baseball at the time either. The script comes from first-time writer Byron Motley with Marshall executive producing along with Studioplex City, where Marshall now has a new two-picture deal. Could this be an Oscar contender in the future?