George Clooney? Check. John Grisham? Check. Father-son baseball stories? Check. All of these elements on their own are potent ingredients to create “something a dad would like.” Put them all together, and that’s a goddamn firework factory of Dad Shit, a veritable Mustache Grower of a stew, a Dad Grand Slam. Well dads and friends of dads, hang on to your sun hats and hike up your sensible khakis: Per Variety, Clooney is directing a father-son baseball drama adapted from a Grisham novel. I can just picture dads at the theater, folding their arms and gruffly saying, “It was fine, could’ve been shorter” now…
Grisham, normally known for Hollywood-friendly legal thrillers like The Firm, released the novel Calico Joe in 2012. It tells the story of Joe Castle, a rising rookie superstar in the world of baseball, known for his pleasant demeanor beyond his skills on the field. This particularly irks Warren Tracey, a hard-living, not so pleasant New York Mets pitcher whose son, Paul, idolizes Castle more than him. So when Warren finally faces Joe on the mound, he throws a pitch that changes both of their lives forever, for better and for worse.
Clooney, beyond directing, will produce the film alongside regular collaborator Grant Heslov and, um, Bob Dylan (you know, the dad-friendly musician?) through his Grey Water Park Productions. Ara Keshishian, Petr Jakl, and Martin J. Barab will also produce the film through their newly founded ZQ Entertainment company, which aims to develop 15 projects a year. Of the story, Clooney and Heslov said, “John has written a beautiful story and the chance to collaborate with Bob to bring it to the screen is just fantastic.” And Bob, as in, again, Bob Dylan, said, “George and Grant see in this book what I see in it – a powerful story that will resonate with young and old alike. People in all walks of life will be able relate to it.”
And, well, Dylan has a point. I am not a dad… but I will absolutely see the hell out of this old-fashioned-sounding dad movie. And I will sneak in my own snacks to do so, because the prices at concession stands these days are just too much. Oh, and remember where you parked. Love you, son.
For more on Clooney, here’s a first look at his new Netflix movie, The Midnight Sky.