Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) is in negotiations to helm Million Dollar Arm, a sports drama for Disney that is based on real life events. Starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as sports agent J.B. Bernstein. Million Dollar Arm tells the story of how two Indian cricket players, Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh became finalists Bernstein’s titular reality show and landed Major League contracts. Bernstein, burnt out from too many high-stress dealings with top-level talent, watched a cricket game on TV late one night and decided that the pitching motion was similar enough to baseball that there might just be a potential for some cross over. Where could a stunt like this possibly work? Why, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, of course! Hit the jump for more.
Variety reports that Gillespie is in talks to helm the pic, scripted by Tom McCarthy (Win, Win). Other directorial credits on Gillespie’s resume include 2007′s Mr. Woodcock, the television series United States of Tara and 2011′s Fright Night remake. Disney’s Million Dollar Arm will ultimately dramatize the rags-to-riches story with Hamm’s Bernstein having to teach the 19-year-old prospects as much about American culture and the English language as he did the rules of baseball. What they’ll probably leave out is that Patel was eventually cut by the Pirates in 2010 and Singh still languishes in the minor leagues.
Golden Globe-winner Hamm, meanwhile, was recently seen on AMC’s fifth season of Mad Men and will star opposite Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter series) in A Young Doctor’s Notebook. He’ll also be seen in the Larry David comedy, Clear History.