Actor/writer/director Tom McCarthy has written and directed three great movies with The Station Agent, The Visitor, and Win Win (he also worked on the story for Pixar’s Up). Now Disney is hiring him to pen the sports drama Million Dollar Arm. According to THR, the story is “based on the inspirational story of how sports agent J.B. Bernstein discovered professional pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel through his Indian reality show.”
Hit the jump to learn about Singh and Patel’s story and why I think McCarthy could do wonders with it. I’ve also included video of an ESPN Outside the Lines piece on Singh and Patel.
Bernstein reportedly got the idea for the reality show when he was watching cricket and realized that the throwing motion wasn’t that different from baseball. The show launched in India in 2008 with over 40,000 applicants including Singh and Patel, who were the two finalists. They were brought to the U.S. and improved their English by listening to rap and watching action movies. Singh and Patel became the first Indian athletes to sign professional baseball contracts when they picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Even better, Singh and Patel probably didn’t know they were being picked up by one of the worst baseball teams of all-time.
There are going to be the inevitable comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire, but I think McCarthy has the talent to make this his own. He’s currently not signed to direct, but I think Disney would be foolish to only let him write the script and then get away to do a different project.
Here’s an Outside the Lines piece on Singh and Patel: