John Grisham’s baseball drama novel Calico Joe is getting an adaptation. Better yet, George Clooney is eyeing the director’s chair for the film with Grant Heslov developing the movie with Clooney. Heslov and Clooney will produce the film under their Smokehouse Pictures banner alongside Bob Dylan’s Grey Water Park Productions.
ZQ Entertainment is financing the script’s development, the newly launched production company from former CAA agent and producer Ara Keshishian, and a multi-million dollar financing and development fund managed by Petr Jakl and represented by attorney Martin J. Barab. The fund will focus on developing high-end film and television, with the goal of 15 projects per year. Jakl, Keshishian, and Barab will executive produce Calico Joe.
“John has written a beautiful story, and the chance to collaborate with Bob to bring it to the screen is just fantastic,” said Clooney and Heslov in a joint statement.
Calico Joe was published in 2012, a fictional story about a pitch thrown in 1973 that ends the career of a promising player, sending him into a coma for three decades. The novel was inspired by the real-life tragedy of Ray Chapman, a major league player killed by a pitch in 1920. The story was also inspired by Grisham’s personal experience with baseball when he was a teenager and developed a strong dislike of aggressive pitchers.