A Rookie of the Year remake is on deck. 20th Century Fox is reportedly eyeing a new take on the 1993 kid-friendly baseball comedy about a young kid who winds up pitching in the major leagues for the Chicago Cubs. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand are penning the screenplay for the remake, which Gregor intends to direct, should the project move forward and go according to plan. But there are several important factors to consider on that front.
Before digging into why this may or may not happen and how it could happen if it does happen, it sounds like this is in the pretty early stages of development. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand are coming off of the indie comedy thriller Most Likely to Murder, which was featured at this year's SXSW. Similarly, the duo co-wrote that movie together with Gregor directing. That remains Gregor's only feature directorial effort, which was met with somewhat middling reviews and has virtually no box office to speak off. The duo also serve as producers on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and, on the feature side, wrote Magic Camp and a feature take on Rescue Rangers for Disney, which could be of particular importance when it comes to the future of this project.
This comes as the Disney merger with Fox looms large. For the time being, Fox has to operate as a studio that is trying to make money and studios do that by making movies. But the Disney deal could close as early as January and the fate of any projects that are in development at Fox once that happens remains hazy at best. We've heard previously that Disney will release any movies that are already completed or in production. Beyond that, it will probably be on a case by case basis.
With that in mind, Disney will need content for their upcoming streaming service, which launches late next year. A Rookie of the Year remake seems very on-brand for them and could fit in nicely there. That's purely speculative, but even once the Disney takeover happens, this project could have life in it for that very reason. The original movie, directed by Home Alone and City Clickers star Daniel Stern, starred Thomas Ian Nicholas, prior to his American Pie days, as a 12-year-old who, after breaking his arm, winds up with the ability to pitch better than any player in major league baseball. He then joins up with the Chicago Cubs and helps lead them to a World Series.
Rookie of the Year earned a modest $56 million at the box office when it was originally released and wasn't met with high praise from the critical community. However, a remake such as this could heavily benefit from 90s nostalgia. For the time being, there is no word on a possible release date, production start or who may be cast in the lead role. This news was originally reported by Deadline.