The Sandlot

The 1990s were the heyday of kid-centric baseball films. This was back when movies like Rookie of the Year and Angels in the Outfield were making $50 million at the box office, and even something like Little Big League – which only pulled in $12 million domestically – could expect a healthy life on home video after it left theaters.

But my favorite of them all was The Sandlot, an imminently quotable and nostalgic coming of age movie set in the 1960s that followed a young outcast who slowly gained a group of friends who taught him to play baseball and accepted him into their ragtag group. Now the co-writer and director of that film, David Mickey Evans, has revealed that he’s written a new baseball movie called Junior America, and it’s based on a true story.

Evans announced the news on Twitter, calling his new project “The next The Sandlot for a new generation.”

Evans, who also wrote and directed The Sandlot 2 in 2005, described the story of his new screenplay in a blog post on his personal website:

Based on a true story about the first, last and only time a National American Little League team was coached by kids the same age as the players – 14 year-olds. Set against the background of American Little League baseball, it’s a story about the power of friendship and the stresses, worries, difficulties and hard decisions that taking your first steps into the grown-up world put on that friendship.
Oh, and it’s funny as hell too.

That sounds like it covers a lot of the same ground as The Sandlot, but this generation certainly deserves a fresh new sports story. I was eight years old when The Sandlot came out and it hit me at the absolutely perfect moment in my childhood; it’s a shame kids today don’t have the opportunity to connect with baseball movies like they used to.

On his Twitter account, Evans linked to a recent interview he did with CBS in which the writer explains the reason we don’t see many sports films these days is because of the international component that must be taken into account when studios green light movies. If there’s a chance they won’t perform well in foreign markets, the likelihood of a green light goes down significantly. It’s a good point, but it isn’t exactly a good omen for Evans’ new movie.

What do you think? Would you like to see another baseball movie from the writer/director of The Sandlot?

Shout-out to former /Film writer Germain Lussier for the tip on this story.

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