Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has picked up The Trade, which is based on the true story of two Yankees pitchers in the swinging 1970s who caused a national scandal when it was discovered that they had swapped wives. Ben Affleck is attached to direct and possibly star in the film as one of the pitchers with Matt Damon eyeing the role of the other Yankee player/playa. The project has taken off in part because of Dave Mandel’s (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld) script which landed on last year’s Black List (list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood) and is said to “have the feel of a Hal Ashby movie.”
For more details about the scandal and Affleck and Damon’s history with the project, hit the jump.
Here’s how Deadline’s Mike Fleming describes the scandal as well as Affleck and Damon’s initial interest and role preference:
Teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich stunned the country when they disclosed in spring training 1973 that they were trading wives. Peterson had fallen in love with Susanne Kekich and his teammate fell in love with Marilyn Peterson. Fritz and Susanne remain a couple till this day, while Mike and Marilyn drifted apart. Affleck and his former Live Planet partners Matt Damon and Sean Bailey have long been intrigued with the project, with Affleck eyeing the role of Peterson and Damon the role of Kekich.
As Fleming notes, it would be amusing to see such die-hard Red Sox fans as Affleck and Damon wearing Yankees pinstripes, but on the other hand a good story is a good story. Also, they wouldn’t be signing on to portray legendary Yankees players in a film celebrating the team. It would be about two professional athletes whose private lives became exposed and resulted in a media frenzy. It’s a response we’ve outgrown as a country as today we let public persons live out their lives in peace because we realize that their personal drama in no way affects us whatsoever.
In a completely unrelated note, Tiger Woods’ non-press-conference is tomorrow. A guy flew an airplane into a building today, but I want to know if Tiger is sorry for cheating on his wife so I hope the major news networks devote at least a little time to that story.