Barry Levinson, director of the baseball classic The Natural, is about to return to the diamond once more. The filmmaker is set to direct a biopic of legendary sports star Hank Aaron, based on the Howard Bryant tome The Last Hero: The Life Story of Henry Aaron. Adam Mazer, who previously penned Levinson’s You Don’t Know Jack, will provide the script.

The new film will follow Aaron’s quest to defeat Babe Ruth’s home run record, which he ultimately did on April 8, 1974 with his 715th home run. (Aaron’s own record was eventually eclipsed by Barry Bonds in 2007.) Casting for the film is expected to get underway shortly.

Perhaps spurred on by the success of last year’s Moneyball, baseball movies seem to be cropping up all over the place as of late. In addition to the Aaron biopic, there’s also Brian Helgeland’s Jackie Robinson tale 42 and Robert Lorenz’ Trouble with the Curve. [Variety]

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After trying her hand at comedy, horror, romance, family film, and drama, Emma Roberts is now moving into the thriller genre with Dito Montiel‘s Empire State. Based on a real-life heist, Adam Mazer‘s screenplay centers around a pair of longtime pals in Astoria, NY who devise a plan to rob an armored car.¬†Liam Hemsworth is one of the friends; the other has not been cast. Dwayne Johnson is also set to star, as an NYPD detective on the case, while Roberts will play a waitress, the requisite love interest role for Hemsworth.

Roberts, who recently appeared in the Sundance dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, is currently shooting the indie comedy Adult World with John Cusack. Empire State will enter production this spring. [Variety]

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Two of the most in-demand action stars working right now may be on the verge of teaming up. Liam Hemsworth and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are close to signing on for Dito Montiel‘s Empire State, with the former on the verge of closing a deal and the latter in negotiations. The film sounds more or less like what you might expect from a collaboration between Hemsworth and Johnson: It’s an indie heist movie involving an armored car robbery. More details after the jump.

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