Why Geena Davis Gave Her Blessing To Amazon's A League Of Their Own

Penny Marshall's 1992 feminist baseball drama "A League of Their Own" is a classic, the kind of movie that uses a very specific experience to tell a universal story. The movie follows the Rockford Peaches, a women's baseball team formed during World War II while all of the men were away fighting. The movie is beloved by fans for its willingness to tackle tough topics and feature so many female protagonists, making it fiercely progressive for 1992. The movie is still close to star Geena Davis' heart, so when talk of the new Prime Video series based on the film started coming out, fans wondered how Davis might react. Thankfully, the creators of the series decided to take things in a slightly different direction than the original film, and in doing so, earned the legendary actress' blessing. 

"A League of Their Own" was co-created by Abbi Jacobson ("Broad City") and Will Graham ("Mozart in the Jungle") and will follow a completely different team of women in the same world and setting as the original movie. The series stars Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Roberta Colindrez, Priscilla Delgado, Kelly McCormack, and Nick Offerman, and will premiere exclusively on Prime Video on August 12, 2022.

You can't recapture magic

The folks over at CNN asked Davis about the series, which she is not attached to appear in but to which she gave her full blessing. She explained that the change in characters helped win her over. "I heard about it maybe a couple of years ago and I'm very excited about it," she said. "I can't wait and I'm doing some event with them soon. I really like that it's about completely different characters, too. It's a different team. It's the same world, in the same environment, but a whole different set of people."

Instead of following the Rockford Peaches, the new series will follow a different team from a different city, although there are some similarities with the original, like having a grumpy male coach. Instead of Tom Hanks, however, this coach is going to be played by everyone's favorite intentionally useless government employee from "Parks and Recreation," Nick Offerman. Rosie O'Donnell, who played one of the Peaches in the original film, will appear as a new character, so the potential is there for Davis to come on board in a later season if she wants. Then again, Davis doesn't seem keen to relive the past, knowing that sometimes it's better not to try to outdo the original. 

No seriously, don't even try

A big part of the reason Davis gave her blessing to the new series is because they're not trying to recapture the magic of the original and are doing something different. No one's retreading the same old ground or repeating the same characters, so it feels new and viable instead of just another cash-grab copy based on nostalgia. The whole cast is great in the original, and it would feel cinematically sacrilegious to recast Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, O'Donnell, Hanks, or any of the other incredible stars from the 1992 film. 

Davis pointed out the madness in trying to recast classic characters by referencing another of her great performances in an interview with Vogue. "People sometimes say just for fun, 'Who would you like to see play Thelma and Louise when they do a remake?' I wouldn't like to see anybody! Just don't. Why would you?" she said. And she has a point. "Thelma and Louise," much like "A League of Their Own," is great in part because of how perfect the performers are in their roles. Instead of trying to do the same thing again, creators should focus on new ideas and new characters, expanding our entertainment choices instead of rehashing the oldies. 

Rather than trying to copy or erase the original world that "A League of Their Own," the movie, was set in, the series will expand that world. This isn't a remake, a reboot, or a sequel, despite its franchise ties, and honestly it's kind of refreshing.