Billy Bob Thornton is lining up another sports drama based on a book by Buzz Bissinger. Variety reports that Thornton and Edward Burns will star in the baseball drama Three Nights from Friday Night Lights author Bissinger. The book chronicles a three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs in 2003 and centers on the strategic decisions made by manager Tony La Russa. Though Three Nights will be a fictionalized account of the book’s events, the success of last year’s Moneyball certain didn’t hurt the prospect of getting Three Nights into production.
Bissinger wrote the screenplay himself, and David Anspaugh will direct. If Anspaugh’s name doesn’t ring a bell, I should remind you that he also helmed two of the greatest sports movies ever made: Rudy and Hoosiers. Thornton will play the team’s pitching coach while Burns will play starting catcher Mike Matheny. With such an exciting team both in front of and behind the camera, Three Nights is certainly one to keep an eye on. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.
Three Nights in August captures the strategic and emotional complexities of baseball’s quintessential form, the three-game series. As the St. Louis Cardinals battle their archrival Chicago Cubs, we watch from the dugout through the eyes of legendary manager Tony La Russa, considered by many to be the shrewdest mind in the game today. In his twenty-seven years of managing, La Russa has been named Manager of the Year a record-making five times and now stands as the third-winningest baseball manager of all time. A great leader, he’s built his success on the conviction that ball games are won not only by the numbers but also by the hearts and minds of those who play. [Amazon]