One of the more talked-about documentaries from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Battered Bastards of Baseball. Directed by Chapman Way and Maclain Way, the film chronicles Bonanza actor Bing Russell’s formation of the independent baseball team the Portland Mavericks and the ensuing confrontation with organized baseball. Quite a few people—our own Matt Goldberg included—were fans of the documentary, and Russell’s son Kurt Russell was onhand to talk about the film. News broke earlier today that Fast & Furious director Justin Lin has acquired remake rights to Battered Bastards with the intention of producing a narrative feature film adaptation for writer/director Todd Field (In the Bedroom), making Steve’s recent interview with Kurt Russell all the more relevant.
During Steve’s interview with Russell earlier this week about the documentary, the actor discussed a possible narrative adaptation of the story and whether he would consider playing his father in the film. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
“It’s really interesting; it’s kind of backwards. I’ve been told by many people, ‘You should make this a movie.’ I’ve actually had my agent say, ‘You know, that’s a great story.’ And when it’s part of your life, you just have a tendency to say, ‘Oh who cares? It’s was something that happened, we did it, I don’t know.’”
“When I got word they were gonna do a documentary, I kind of said, ‘Yeah, that’s what they should do with this story! Do a documentary.’ And by the way, on a professional basis, that’s the process that should be gone through here. That’s the vetting process. Do a documentary, if the documentary’s interesting and holds up [then consider a movie]… At that stage of the game, then you kind of have to go, ‘Would I be one of the people that I would be considering to play Bing Russell?’ I have yes’ and no’s. What I think is kind of cool is that everybody talks about that now, if that happens.”
With the reception to the documentary being overwhelmingly positive and interest from a number of buyers buzzing, Russell admitted that he’s been thinking more seriously about possibly playing his father in the Battered Bastards of Baseball movie:
“In the last three days, obviously for the reasons you asked, I’ve started thinking about it more, and maybe we’ll be forced to think about it further… There’ll be lots of people that I think in my mind [are possibilities] to play different people, but you can’t not think about it. And after seeing this, you can’t not say it’s compelling.”
There’s no word on how soon the Battered Bastards narrative feature will come to fruition, but Russell certainly seems very open to the possibility of starring in the eventual film. Look for Steve’s full interview with Russell on Collider soon.