EXCLUSIVE: Dennis Quaid has signed on to star in The Hill, a family drama penned by Angelo Pizzo (Rudy, Hoosiers) and the late Scott Marshall Smith (The Score, Men of Honor), who passed away in December.
The film will tell the true story of Rickey Hill, a kid who overcame his physical disability to play professional baseball. Given the complexities Rickey faced in his relationship with his father, his is a story about more than just athletics. It’s also a story about family, and what one young man can do to follow his dream.
Quaid will portray Rickey’s father, Pastor Hill, an instinctively protective man who doesn’t want his son to go out into the world to pursue his dream, fearing that he’ll get ridiculed for his disability. Ultimately, Hill’s tough exterior is broken as Rickey grows up and proves his natural ability.
Jeff Celentano (Breaking Point, Gunshy) is directing the film, cast by Rick Montgomery (Green Book), which will go before cameras in Georgia in November.
He’s also producing alongside Warren Ostergard, with Matthew Dwyer, Michael Hollingsworth, Michael Blubaugh and Rickey Hill serving as exec producers.
The rest of the film’s cast has not yet been announced.
“I’m setting out to make an iconic film in the classic sense, a beautiful sweeping and powerful inspirational story. One that will stand the test of time like Blindside, Rudy, Field of Dreams and The Natural. Dennis was the first and only person I thought of for the lead role upon reading the script,” said Celentano. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to play a loving, caring father while at the same time a staunch, powerful man – all the qualities needed to bring Pastor Hill’s character to life.”
“Since the 1970s in particular, the sports film has gained increasing recognition as one of the most important and popular genres in contemporary cinema,” added Quaid. “I couldn’t be more excited about this project. This film will no doubt further validate the power of American social mobility and show that in America you can choose to be what you want.”
Quaid is an Emmy nominee and two-time Golden Globe nominee best known on the film side for turns in Yours, Mine & Ours, In Good Company, The Day After Tomorrow, Cold Creek Manor, Far from Heaven, The Rookie, Wyatt Earp, Postcards from the Edge and other titles.
The actor’s recent TV credits include Netflix’s Merry Happy Whatever, Amazon’s Goliath and Fortitude, and Crackle’s The Art of More.
He’ll next appear in Alex Ranarivelo’s Born a Champion, Julio Quintana’s Blue Miracle, Andrew and Jon Erwin’s American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story, Ray Giarratana’s The Tiger Rising, Sean McNamara’s Reagan, in which he’ll play the actor-turned president, and more.
Quaid is represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.