EXCLUSIVE: After clubbing 43 homers including nine in the span of one week, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton ended his 2012 season as a free agent. The same can no longer be said for his incredible life story, which has been acquired and will be turned into a feature film by Relativity Media. Relativity has closed a rights deal with Hamilton, along with a deal for Casey Affleck to write and direct. Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk will produce along with The Walsh Company’s Kevin Walsh. Thunder Road’s Kent Kubena will executive produce and Hamilton and his wife Katie will co-produce along with Hamilton’s business manager Steve Reed. Relativity has also closed a deal for rights to the book that Hamilton co-authored, Beyond Belief: Finding The Strength To Come Back.
Back in June, I wrote about this feature package that Iwanyk and Affleck were trying to build around Hamilton. I am a sucker for those inspirational sports films from The Blind Side to The Rookie and Brian’s Song and there is certainly one to be made about rising from the depths of addiction. While the landscape is littered with addiction casualties from Whitney Houston on down, Hamilton reminds me of a number of exceptional people like Robert Downey Jr, who after wrestling their demons have accomplished the admirable feat of realizing the potential of their outsized gifts. For Hamilton, this meant overcoming a crack cocaine addiction to become one of the most feared sluggers in baseball, something that seemed impossible when Hamilton was so rock bottom that his wife kicked him out of the house, and he was relegated to cleaning toilets and mowing the grass at a baseball training facility. (more…)