'A League Of Their Own' TV Series Will Bring Back Rosie O'Donnell In A New Role

The upcoming Amazon TV series adaptation of A League of Their Own will follow a new ensemble of female professional baseball players who stepped up to the plate during World War II while millions of men were on the battlefield. But there's still room for pieces of the original big screen story of A League of Their Own to come through in the series.

Rosie O'Donnell, who played Doris Murphy in the original movie from director Penny Marshall, will be returning with a supporting role in the A League of Their Own TV series. O'Donnell won't be reprising the same role. Instead, the actress and former talk show host says she'll be playing a bartender at a local gay bar. Not only is that a fun way to bring back O'Donnell, who was a memorable part of the original movie, but it actually alludes to implications about her character in the original film.

While confirming her new role in the A League of Their Own TV series, O'Donnell recalled how she always felt like the Doris Murphy character was a lesbian, even though it's not clearly identified in the movie. O'Donnell explained to Entertainment Weekly:

"It's funny, during League of Our Own, my character again, I think was gay. And when she had that speech — 'I never really felt like a real girl. I always felt like a fake girl, not even a girl, but now there's a lot of us and I feel like we're all okay' — I did that in the bus."

O'Donnell said she always felt that speech could be interpreted as Doris talking about being a gay woman. However, director Penny Marshall disagreed, so it was never fully intended by the filmmaker to represent that idea. O'Donnell recalled her attempt to have Marshall see the scene from a different perspective:

"I said, 'Pen, did you read the words? The words are totally that she finally feels she fits in amongst this group of tomboys. There's this little bit of an undertone."

The undertone remains in O'Donnell's performance even if Marshall didn't agree. What's great about movies is that there are a variety of interpretations when it comes to the message the audience takes away. There's no doubt that many gay women identified with that speech in the same way that Rosie O'Donnell did, even if it wasn't intentionally representative of the gay community.

A League of Their Own TV Series Cast

Expanding the Scope of A League of Their Own

Including Rosie O'Donnell as the bartender of a gay bar in the A League of Their Own series provides some insight into how the story will be expanded to include a new perspective on the ensemble of women on and off the field. The original movie didn't highlight any lesbian characters, so the fact that we'll be spending some time in a gay bar shows that the series will feature a larger variety of female characters.

This goes hand-in-hand with the show's intention of taking a "deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters as they carve their own paths towards the field, both in the League and outside of it."

Along with Abbi Jacobson, A League of Their Own also stars Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, Roberta Colindrez, and Priscilla Delgado. Nick Offerman is taking the Tom Hanks role of one of the team's coaches, and Molly Ephraim, Kate Berlant, and Melanie Field will be recurring guest stars. The series is co-created by Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle).

A League of Their Own doesn't have a release date yet, but we'll keep you posted.