As first reported on EW.com, producers Mike Tollin ("Varsity Blues," "Coach Carter") and Glenn Rigberg ("Struck By Lightning") have obtained the rights to make a feature film biopic of legendary baseball player Henry "Hank" Aaron. Highlights of Aarons' fabled career included breaking the decades-long home run record set by Babe Ruth.
According to the report, Barry Levinson ("The Natural") is set to direct the project which will be written by screenwriter Adam Mazer, who wrote Levinson's HBO biopic on Jack Kevorkian. The film will be based on Howard Bryant's book "The Last Hero: The Life Story of Henry Aaron," and will cover the two year period from 1972 to 1974 during which time Aaron chased, and surpassed Babe Ruth's record.
Aaron, who in the past has been reluctant to authorize a big screen version of his life, will consult on the film. He has previously worked with Tollin on the Oscar-nominated 1995 feature documentary, "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream."
Commented Tolin, "This [film] is something we've toyed with and talk about all the time. It's challenging for Henry, because in some ways, it was the darkest time of his life, even though it was the most triumphant in professional terms. But as we talked about it, I think he grew more comfortable with our approach to it and having it shine a light on where America was in those times, and how far we've progressed -- and maybe how far we still have to go."
Casting will begin upon completion of the script and shooting is expected to begin next year with the goal of a 2014 release, marking the 40th anniversary of Aaron's record-breaking home run as well as his 80th birthday.