The Sandlot Prequel

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the beloved 1993 favorite The Sandlot. To celebrate, 20th Century Fox is giving a big middle finger to all fans of the movie by developing a The Sandlot prequel that will take place before the events of the 1962-set coming-of-age sports comedy.

Deadline has word on The Sandlot prequel that will bring back David Mickey Evans, the original film’s writer and director. He’ll co-write the script with first-time feature writer Austin Reynolds, who spent three years in the Disney Writers program and had a script on the 2016 Black List called NY to Florida.

The original movie followed Tom Guiry as Scottie Smalls, the dweeby new kid on the block with no discernible athletic talent whatsoever who tries to make friends with a group of kids who play baseball every day of the summer on an old baseball field known as The Sandlot. After struggling at first, he fits in and then gets caught up in a pickle where his step-father’s baseball signed by the legendary Babe Ruth ends up in the possession of supposedly deadly dog known as The Beast. And the kids try everything they can to get it back.

There’s not much room for a prequel since there aren’t any stories alluded to by the original kids in the movie. But apparently the film’s plot will have something to do with the legend of The Beast that is told to Scottie after the Babe Ruth-signed baseball ends up in the backyard of old man Mr. Myrtle. Of course, that legend concerned the dog eating a couple of junkyard bandits, so there must another story about The Beast that has yet to be detailed.

Fans of The Sandlot might remember that Hamilton “Ham” Porter references a kid who went into Mr. Myrtle’s backyard once but ended up getting eaten, so maybe that will have something to do with this prequel story. Either way, I’m sure this will feature a whole new group of kids, maybe in the 1950s this time, who have to deal with The Beast before anyone from the original movie has even moved into the neighborhood.

The question is whether any of the original stars will be brought back in perhaps a bookend capacity. The first movie featured Mike Vitar (Benjamin “Benny” Franklin Rodriguez), Patrick Renna (Hamilton “Ham” Porter), Chauncey Leopardi (Michael “Squints” Palledorous), Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons), Marty York (Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan), Shane Obedzinski (Tommy “Repeat” Timmons), Grant Gelt (Bertram Grover Weeks), and Brandon Quintin Adams (Kenny DeNunez).

However, none of them are really acting much anymore. Fans might like to see them get back together for some kind of reunion, but Miek Vitar and Marty York have both faced some criminal charges in their adult years, so that might not be in the cards. Of course, if the prequel concerns a story that doesn’t feature any of their characters, that might not make much sense anyway.

This feels like one of the more unnecessary instances of picking up a familiar intellectual property and trying to capitalize it. How much better would it be if 20th Century Fox merely set out to make a new beloved film for the younger generation instead of trying to ride the coattails of a movie that has nostalgia for kids of the 1990s? We don’t need another movie that turns out like the direct-to-video sequels that no one cares about.

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