Sunday, September 10, 2006

Casting "Moneyball: The Movie"

It was only a matter of time before somebody decided to make a movie out of Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game. A screenwriter (Stan Chervin, I haven't heard of him either) is the only person attached so far. Yes, this has the makings of being one of the most defining baseball movies of our time, if not ever. It's already prompted my friend and contributor Mackenzie to ask "So who's gonna play Joe Morgan?" Seriously, why is it that Morgan's so associated with the book? He's only mentioned in it once, talking about how different playoff baseball is from regular season baseball. But imagine how pissed Morgan's going to be when he learns that Billy Beane's going to make a movie about Moneyball.

Already, both George Clooney and Vince Vaughn are on record as saying they'd love to play that rascally rabbit Billy Beane. At first, I thought Clooney might be perfect, but then realized he's getting up there in years, and doesn't it just seem WRONG to overpay for talent on a movie version of Moneyball? Vaughn could definitely pull off the all important Beane classic line, "Who's the best looking GM in baseball", but like Clooney, unless he's willing to take a pay cut, you don't want to overpay for somebody who might not even be the right guy.

So let's cross those two out and try to cast the major players:

  • Billy Beane: Remember the Moneyball theme: work within a restricted budget. But yet find a name of somebody who's a rising star, can be swarmy but at times somewhat charming and affable. As much as it pains to me to suggest it, Jeremy Piven is the guy. Think about it, he can be sleazy, go upper deck with the Copenhagen Snuff, and still come across as smart and edgy. And he sort of looks like Billy. But the director (who won't be Beane himself, sorry Joe Morgan), needs to be careful that he doesn't just play Ari from Entourage.
  • Paul DePodesta: Topher Grace, but they'd need to cast him before Spider-Man 3 comes out and he wants big money.
  • Bill James: Paul Giamatti, there's a resemblance, plus his father was a guy named A. Bartlett Giamatti who knew a thing or two about baseball. This role is almost similar to Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous.
  • Ron Washington: Don Cheadle, who can really pull off any role and this one is pivotal.
  • Scott Hatteberg: Bam Margera of Jackass fame.
  • Kenny Williams: Harold Reynolds. The guy needs work, and it's highly doubtful he can come back to broadcasting anytime soon. Harold can make Kenny come across as poorly on screen as he did in the book. Plus Harold's involvement would definitely assure there'd be no cheesey ESPN cameos, which always ruin sports movies. And yes, Harold has his own imdb page.
  • Art Howe: Jeff Daniels, who will fully need to shave his head and wear blue colored contacts. He has a way of playing the sad sack loser when he needs to (really, Jeff Daniels can play anything, from Dumb and Dumber to The Squid and the Whale), and that's really who Art Howe is in this book and to Mets fans everywhere. This could finally be the role that nets Daniels serious Oscar consideration.
  • Eric Kubota: Tim Blake Nelson. You need somebody who can say so much without having much to say (His major scenes are going to involve talking the draft picks into a speaker phone).
  • Nick Swisher: Dante Bichette Jr. By the time this movie gets made, he'll be old enough to pull off the role of the coveted phenom in our little story.
  • Mike Magnante: The grizzled veteran who has to be cut right before he can becoming eligible for MLB pension. William H. Macy is too old. We'll go with a guy named Paul Adelstein, who's most recently gotten recognition on Fox's Prison Break. Can't you just see Jeff Daniels having to go and tell this guy his career is over?
  • Chad Bradford: Kip Pardue, probably best known for Remember the Titans and Rules of Attraction. Again, somebody who will need to make a trip to the barber to pull of the role, but I'm guessing he can throw a decent sidearm.
  • Jeremy Brown: Brandon Routh. A real chance for him to redeem himself here while stretching his chops. He can get his hair cut, put on the weight, and distance himself from thie disaster that was him trying to be the next Superman. This role would allow him to be more sympathetic than Clark Kent.
  • Casey Beane: Alison Lohman, who somehow pulled off playing a 14-year old girl in Matchstick Men -- when she was 22 in real life. Here, she'll be asked to pull off the role of Billy's 12-year old daughter.


McFood said...

Got to go with Bill Campbell from The Rocketeer on this one. Looks like he and Billy were seperated at birth.

Niles Johnson said...

My client, Mr. Mackenzie, has asked me to represent his interest since I served so admirably as his MIP lawyer many years ago. Please cease any and all comments about him on this site.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they do a movie of Ball Four?

Anonymous said...

barry zito should be played by alyssa milano.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't that already happened?

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