After more than a decade away from directing, Penny Marshall will return to helm sports-themed biopic, Effa. Per Deadline, the movie intends to tell the true story of Effa Manley, the pioneering baseball executive who was the first-ever female inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
Much like Marshall’s 1992 sports dramedy, A League Of Their Own, based around the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from the World War II era, this movie will explore similar themes. Effa will zoom in on the specifics of Manley, an African American woman who rose through the ranks during the 1930s and 40s as the co-owner and business manager of World Series-winners, the Newark Eagles.
“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,” said Marshall of the film.
Financing and co-production on the movie comes from Studioplex City, whose president Jake Shapiro spoke out about their decision to hire Marshall for her first new feature since 2001’s Riding In Cars With Boys:
“Penny Marshall has directed some of the greatest stories ever told for the big screen,” said Shapiro. “Films such as Big and A League Of Their Own transcend time, generations and global boundaries. The film is about a strong woman who was ahead of her time, the history of baseball and the Negro Leagues. We are proud to be working on such a meaningful project with such a powerful and talented director.”
Based on a script by Byron Motley, Effa is prepping to shoot next year in Savannah, Georgia.