Disney Studios has begun filming Million Dollar Arm in Atlanta, Georgia after a 6 week shoot in Mumbai, India. The feel good baseball movie stars Jon Hamm, (AMC’s high-powered advertising executive Don Draper), in his first starring movie role. The Golden Globe winning Mad Men star recently completed HBO’s Clear History with Larry David, and the BBC miniseries, A Young Doctor’s Notebook with Daniel Radcliffe, which he executive produced.
Million Dollar Arm is based on the true story of J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm), a sports agent rapidly losing clients and recruits to slick high-powered competitors. He has to think of something fast or close up shop. Late one night, while watching cricket on TV, he gets the crazy brainstorm idea of traveling to India to find the next great pitching sensation.
Bernstein teams up with venture capitalists Will Chang, an executive in the San Francisco Giants organization, and his partner Ash Vasudevan (Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). The trio travels to India, along with a cantankerous old baseball scout played by Academy Award winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), and sets up a televised national sports game show, Million Dollar Arm.
Suraj Sharma, who played Pi in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, and Madhur Mittal (Salim in 2008 Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire) will play the competition’s two standouts, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. Dinesh and Rinku had never even touched a baseball before the competition. The Georgia Tech baseball field was decorated to appear like the Trojans home stadium, (shooting at USC, where Dinesh and Rinku were actually brought to train with pitching guru Tom House, was not cost effective).
Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Fright Night) is directing. Writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win) has written the screenplay.
Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray (Secretariat, The Rookie), are producing through their Mayhem Pictures, along with Joe Roth (Oz, The Great And Powerful), under his Roth Films banner. Palak Patel and Kevin Holloran are executive producing.
Disney plans to release the film to coincide with the opening of the 2014 baseball season.