“The Sandlot” has a place in the home collections of many, many baseball fans. It was part of that glorious ’90s revival of kids baseball movies, like “Little Big League” and “Rookie of the Year.” And if you’re feeling nostalgic for those kid-centered baseball movies, there’s good news: the writer and director of “The Sandlot,” David Mickey Evans, has penned a new screenplay.
The next "The Sandlot" for a new generation. Based on a true story… pic.twitter.com/pa6sfUsMDM
— David Mickey Evans (@DMESandlot) May 2, 2017
I’m not the only one who heard a choir of angels singing when they saw that tweet, right?
The film is called “Junior Americans,” and Evans had all of us Sandlot fans in mind when he wrote it. Here’s the description from his website:
The next “THE SANDLOT” for a new generation. Based on a true story about the first, last and only time a National American Little League team was coached by kids the same age as the players – 14 year-olds. Set against the background of American Little League baseball, it’s a story about the power of friendship and the stresses, worries, difficulties and hard decisions that taking your first steps into the grown-up world put on that friendship.
Oh, and it’s funny as hell too.
I’m ready to see that right this second. Unfortunately, we don’t have any details about a production date, or even if a studio has signed on to make the movie yet. Hopefully Evans will reveal that information soon and we can all mark our calendars. How about a double feature: “The Sandlot” followed by the premiere of “Junior Americans.” Who could say no to that?
There are apparently people who could say no to that, and to a new baseball movie in general. Andrew Kahn of CBS was wondering why there have been so few baseball movies in the past decade, and he got some insight when he interviewed Evans. Evans shared the (paraphrased) response he’s gotten from major studios after sending them the screenplay for “Junior Americans.”
“I found it charming but it’s not something the studio can support. It’s virtually impossible to get a baseball movie made today. The decline in video revenue and the increasing necessity of the international markets have pretty much killed the possibility for a movie set in the baseball world.”
That’s plausible, but Kahn points out how that particular line of reasoning doesn’t necessarily hold water. Behind Major League Baseball, the two biggest (and most popular) baseball leagues are in Japan and Korea. And Japan is the second largest film market in the world, with Korea coming in sixth. Those countries love baseball, and it’s insane to think they wouldn’t want to watch a baseball movie.
Hopefully “Junior Americans” gets made, and will open the door to a revival of baseball movies. Am I the only one who would see “Little Big League 2: Bigger Leaguer?” Get on it, Hollywood.
BLS H/N: SlashFilm
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