Penny Marshall is set to return to the director's chair for the first time since 2001's Riding in Cars With Boys with a biopic that follows the life of baseball pioneer Effa Manley, who became the first woman ever to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Effa Manley rose through the ranks of the Negro Leagues in the 1930s and 1940s as the co-owner and business manager of the Newark Eagles, which went on to win the Negro World Series in 1946. She became the sole owner of the team after her husband and co-owner Abe Manley died in 1948.
Penny Marshall is obviously no stranger to baseball movies, directing the 1992 classic A League of Their Own, which followed the struggle to establish the first women's professional baseball league during World War II. Penny Marshall will also serve as executive producer of Effa, alongside screenwriter Byron Motley. Here's what the director had to say about this biopic, which will be entitled Effa.
"The story is a fascinating tale of a woman who broke through so many barriers and accomplished so much for the players and the game, during a time when the face of baseball changed forever."
Studioplex City LLC will finance and produce the biopic as part of a two-picture deal with Penny Marshall. Production will begin in Savannah, Georgia sometime next year. Penny Marshall's other directorial credits include Jumpin' Jack Flash, Big, Renaissance Man and The Preacher's Wife.