16 October 2020 04:30
George Clooney and Grant Heslov are set to give a feature adaptation of John Grisham's baseball-themed novel Calico Joe, with Clooney attached to direct. The novel tells the moving story about fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball. "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," said Dylan. Smokehouse and Dylan are represented by CAA, and Grisham by The Gernert Company.
"In this climate, with the ever-evolving distribution landscape and different ways to reach audiences, we feel this is the perfect time to focus on development with the best storytellers. The calibre of talent involved, and quality of John Grisham's amazing book is the exact type of content we are looking to develop and produce. Smokehouse's track record speaks for itself and we look forward to working with them and the legendary Bob Dylan to bring this story to life," said Keshishian and Jakl in a joint statement. George Clooney and Grant Heslov will adapt and Clooney will direct John Grisham's baseball-themed novel Calico Joe. Calico Joe takes place in 1973 and tells of a phenomenal rookie baseball player who has a fateful encounter in a game with the father of one of his young fans. Script development financing comes from ZQ Entertainment, the fledgling company launched by producer Ara Keshishian (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Worth), and a multi-million dollar financing and development fund managed by Petr Jakl.
Clooney and Heslov will also produce under their Smokehouse Pictures banner alongside Bob Dylan's Grey Water Park Productions. The script's development is being financed by ZQ Entertainment, the newly-launched production company from former CAA agent and producer Ara Keshishian and a multi-million dollar financing and development fund managed by Petr Jakl and represented by attorney Martin J. The fund will focus on the development of high-end film and television, with the goal of 15 projects per year. Jakl, Keshishian, and Barab will executive produce "Calico Joe." "John has written a beautiful story and the chance to collaborate with Bob to bring it to the screen is just fantastic," said Clooney and Heslov in a joint statement. 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.
Barab brokered the deal on behalf of the fund. George Clooney? John Grisham? Father-son baseball stories? 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. 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." For more on Clooney, here's a first look at his new Netflix movie, The Midnight Sky.