The Texas Rangers prodigy fell from grace at the beginning of his professional career after struggling with alcohol and drug addiction issues.
After several stints in rehab, outfielder Hamilton got his life back on track and he has since earned a name for himself as one of the best home-run hitters in the league.
And now Hamilton's story is set to get the big screen treatment from the Gone Baby Gone star, who will also serve as executive producer of the biopic.
The Town producer Basil Iwanyk, who has also signed on for the project, tells Deadline.com, "I truly think this guy's story is one of the most inspiring stories I've ever read. It's also tailor-made for a movie: it has the mythic quality of The Natural, the faith-based angle of The Blind Side - and faith is a major part of our story - and the romance of Walk the Line.
"Casey has totally captured those elements in his take for the movie. It is an extraordinary odyssey that took him (Hamilton) from the depths of drug addiction, estrangement from his family, and suspension from baseball to a spectacular rebirth of his life, faith, marriage and major league career."
Affleck goes to town and Emma Stone proves she has A-list star power at this weekend’s box office.
Ben Affleck proves that he is a threat both behind and in front of the camera as Warner Bros.’ brilliant “The Town” topped the weekend with $23.8 million. The ensemble heist drama co-stars the Oscar-nominated Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”), “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm and “Frost/Nixon’s” Rebecca Hall and uses both action and pathos in equal measure to maximum effect. The film certainly has Oscar potential and also had obvious appeal to sophisticated audiences looking for a beautifully-acted, thought-provoking drama. Affleck is looking to take a page from the Clint Eastwood handbook by becoming a world class director while still maintaining his star status. Long term prospects for “The Town” look solid with strong word-of-mouth likely to propel the film well into the fall movie and awards season.
Sony’s “Easy A” was a very profitable student with a second place debut at $18.2 million against a very modest $8 million production budget. This innovative, quirky and fun riff on the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne tale of “The Scarlett Letter” found favor with female audiences who made up 67% of the film’s audience. Emma Stone, who first stole hearts as the object of Jonah Hill’s teen desire in “Superbad,” plays a modern day Hester Prynne, but with a major twist and to great effect. Director Will Gluck and screenwriter Bert V. Royal clearly have affection for the classic John Hughes 80’s era teen comedies and they wear that affection on their cinematic sleeves; much to the delight and benefit of the audience. Edgy dialogue ripped straight from the “Juno” playbook combined with an offbeat visual style, appealing performances and direct references to the films of the aforementioned Hughes make this unadulterated catnip for the high school crowd.
In third place with $12.58 million is “Devil” from Universal Pictures. Advertised as coming from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan this film may do for the elevator what “Jaws” did for the beach. Clocking in at a taut 80 minutes the film provides a very quick fox for the horror movie junkie.
Fourth place belongs to Milla Jovovich in Sony's "Resident Evil: Afterlife" with $10.1 million against a 62% second weekend drop and a cumulative domestic gross to date of $44 million. The film also grossed an estimated $103.2 million overseas in 10 days for a worldwide total of more than $147 million. The film effectively packed theaters in its debut last weekend and has been backed up by solid 3-D and IMAX powered grosses.
Rounding out the top with $9.2 million is Lionsgate’s animated 3-D wolf tale "Alpha and Omega.” The film saw a massive 80% uptick on Saturday and boasts a modest budget that will make it profitable for the distributor. Essentially the only game in town for kids since “Despicable Me,” “Alpha and Omega” had a perfect release date and thus was able to capitalize on that fact with kids and families. In other Lionsgate news, “The Expendables” crossed the $100 million mark on Friday.
An “up” weekend vs. last year by the smallest of margins, keeps us ahead on revenues with a nearly 4% lead, but we are still lagging behind on attendance by almost 2%. Help is on the way with “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole” from Warner Bros., “You Again” from Disney and the expected strong debut of Fox’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf.
Top 10 Movies - Weekend of September 17, 2010 (Estimates)
The Town (R)
Easy A (PG-13)
Resident Evil: Afterlife (R)
Alpha and Omega (PG)
The American (R)
The Other Guys (PG-13)
Update: Well, it looks like Sam Raimi managed to clear his schedule for this one. Yesterday we reported that Disney was courting the director to take the reins of Oz, the Great and Powerful, a proposed prequel to the original The Wizard of Oz, but that he had other commitments (World Warcraft) to consider before accepting. Now, Nikke Finke over at Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Sam Raimi has in fact agreed to take the directors chair in a meeting that went down with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) reps last night. Raimi will direct Robert Downey Jr. in the title role as a circus wrangler who gets whisked away by a tornado to the land of Oz, where he somehow manages to finagle his way onto the throne in the Emerald City.
Original story (June 14): Vulture is reporting that Disney has reached out to Sam Raimi to helm Oz, the Great and Powerful, a prequel to the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Although it had been rumored that Sam Mendes and Adam Shankman were also in the running for the gig, insiders are now reporting that Raimi received an official offer for the project this weekend.
However, it's not yet clear whether Raimi's schedule will allow him to accept. The director of the Spider-Man trilogy had planned on shooting a live-action adaptation of the popular video game World of Warcraft after wrapping Spider-Man 4, but since Sony has dumped Raimi and ordered a Spider-Man reboot, the director's next project has been a matter of speculation. World of Warcraft is now in pre-production, with a planned release date some time in 2013, but Disney is interested in beginning principal photography on Oz, the Great and Powerful sometime this year.
Even if that leaves time for Raimi to direct Oz, the Great and Powerful, Warner Bros. has been concurrently developing two competing Oz-based films of their own. One, called Wizard of Oz, is connected with studio producer Basil Iwanyk and scribe Josh Olson (A History of Violence); the other project, Oz, is being developed by Twilight producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey and writer Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After) for Warner's New Line Cinema. Both would have to contend with British filmmaker John Boorman's straight-up CGI adaptation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which is due sometime this year.
While it's not unusual at all for competing studios to be in development of similar subject matter (especially when said subject matter is now public domain, as the original L. Frank Baum novel has been since 1956), pressure from Warner Bros. may force Disney's hand; if World of Warcraft becomes a major commitment for Sam Raimi, I wouldn't be surprised if the studio moves ahead on Oz, the Great and Powerful without him.
"We got a phone call from Liam Neeson's agent... and he wanted to meet with us. He was like, 'My kids are nuts about Greek mythology. If I played Zeus, they'd think I was so f**king cool!'" Clash of the Titans producer BASIL IWANYK recalls Neeson's eagerness to play Zeus in the movie remake.
Warner Bros. Eyeing a New Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road?
The Los Angeles Times reports that Warner Bros. is mulling a new trip down the yellow brick road. The studio is said to be examining two existing Wizard of Oz projects, with an eye toward giving one of them a modern gloss.
One project, Oz, currently lives at Warners' New Line label. The Temple Hill production has a script written by Darren Lemke, a writer on the upcoming Shrek Forever After.
A second Wizard of Oz project, set up at Warners proper, skews a little darker, says the LAT. It is written by A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson and focuses on a granddaughter of Dorothy who returns to Oz to fight evil. Producer Basil Iwanyk and his Thunder Road Pictures are behind that one.
Although still in the early development stages, the idea of a new Wizard of Oz movie is said to have been advanced seriously enough that representatives for some of Hollywood’s top directors have been briefed.
With its Harry Potter series drawing to an end, Warners likes the idea of a franchise, and Wizard of Oz and the many books L. Frank Baum wrote featuring many of the same characters fit the bill nicely, notes the paper.
The 15 year old star of Charlotte's Web and War of the Worlds is set to take the lead in a follow-up to the classic 1939 movie that shot Judy Garland to fame.
The film's producer, Basil Iwanyk, says, "It will be set in the present day and feature Dorothy's granddaughter.
The original film - based on L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - won a number of awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Co-producer Todd McFarlane adds, "You've still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she's much closer to the Ripley character from Alien than a helpless singing girl.
The classic original already has one sequel - the 1985 film, Return to Oz, was based on Baum's novels Ozma of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz.