Director Craig Gillespie Drafted To Helm Disney’s Million Dollar Arm

Craig Gillespie

Having secured Jon Hamm (Mad Men) to lead its upcoming Million Dollar Arm as sports agent J.B. Bernstein, Disney has pinned down another major player in the form of director Craig Gillespie.

Million Dollar Arm recounts the events leading up to the unprecedented signing of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel with Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. Bernstein spotted the exceptional pair while in India producing a reality show involving cricket, and in the course of auditioning 40,000 players, he noticed the similarity of pitching style to baseball’s. Talented pitchers, similar style, and the radical idea was born. He’d just have to teach them actual baseball, the English language, and American culture… let the games begin.

Million Dollar Arm seems a good fit for Gillespie, who has a knack for two of the story’s major elements: bridging the unusual perspective with the established custom (Lars and the Real Girl, United States of Tara), and the efforts of an honest Everyman toward facing an utterly unfamiliar and an apparently insurmountable challenge (Mr. Woodcock, Fright Night 2011).

Also in the film’s favor is the presence of writer Thomas McCarthy, who has the extraordinary talent in portraying the making of one’s way in a huge and often overwhelming world (Win Win, The Visitor, Up, The Station Agent). In an interview with Indiewire last year, McCarthy shared his perspective, saying, “It’s a great story, a very human story… It’s going to be focused on this relationship between the agent and the players. It starts out as this contest, but then this guy moves in with them. They become part of his life, which is pretty funny.”

Produced by Roth Films in conjunction with Mayhem Pictures, Million Dollar Arm is slated for a 2013 release, though an actual start date for has yet to be determined pending Hamm’s schedule.

Source: The Film Stage