If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I know sports and cinema are two passions that don't always overlap, but for those of us who love both, this piece of news should be quite interesting. Barry Levinson ('The Natural,' 'Rain Man') is set to direct a biopic about legendary slugger Henry 'Hammerin Hank' Aaron and his quest to top Babe Ruth's homerun record between 1972 and 1974. The screenplay will be penned by Adam Mazer ('Empire State') who will purportedly be basing much of it upon the novel 'The Last Hero: The Life Story of Henry Aaron' by Howard Bryant. Levinson and Mazer have teamed for biopics in the past, working together on the Dr. Kevorkian story 'You Don't Know Jack' for HBO. This Hank Aaron biopic will be produced under the new Mandalay Sports Media label and a distribution partner is still being sought. As of this time, an actor has not been cast to play Aaron.
Talk about finding the right director for the right project, right? They're making a biopic about one of the greatest players in baseball history, so it makes total sense to enlist the services of the man who directed one of the greatest baseball films in cinematic history. 'The Natural' is required viewing not only for fans of baseball, but for fans of all sports films in general. I cannot wait to see what Levinson does with this story, especially given how compact the scope seems to be. As stated before, there seems to be a renewed interest in making hyper-focused biopics that highlight a specific period in the life of an artist or historical figure. This was the case with Simon Curtis' 'My Week with Marilyn' and seems to be the approach adopted by Sacha Gervasi's upcoming, cumbersomely titled 'Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.' We've seen fact-based baseball movies in the past that were focused on homerun chases, HBO's '61*' for example, but I'm hoping this Hank Aaron biopic finds its way to the big screen and not just TV. Also, given that Hank Aaron is still alive, they could easily get firsthand accounts of the events and motivations, which could make for an incredibly authentic retelling of the story.
What do you guys think? Would you see a Hank Aaron biopic by the director of 'The Natural?' Who would you cast to play him?