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COMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU: FINE TALES FROM THE SPACEMAN
Published October 17, 1997
The number of feature films on baseball is examined by VARIETY's Michael Fleming in his "Buzz" column. Woody Harrelson will play former Red Sox P Bill Lee in "Almost Perfect Game," which Paramount "is now fast-tracking ... for a spring start, hopefully at Fenway Park." Among other "promising hardball pics" is a Warner Bros. biopic of ex- White Sox Owner Bill Veeck that Bill Murray "hopes to star in." Kevin Costner "wants to topline" a Mirage film called "For the Love of the Game," and Dwight Gooden's life story is being developed by Warner Bros (VARIETY, 10/13 issue). CUP O' JOE: VARIETY's Fleming also writes on Showtime's "Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way," which premieres tonight at 9:00pm ET. Producer Norman Twain said Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner "shut us down and would not let us shoot in Yankee Stadium at all because he thought it would be a distraction. Now, he didn't owe Showtime or us anything, but the organization certainly did not make it easy. They had to look over the script and then cut every piece of profanity out of the picture. Do you believe that in 1996, Paul O'Neill never says anything worse than the word 'hell' in the locker room?" (VARIETY, 10/13 issue). In N.Y., TV critic Eric Mink calls the Showtime/Torre movie a "huge disappointment. ... sometimes cartoonish" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/16). The TIMES' TV critic, Will Joyner, calls the movie "appealing," while being "slightly superficial" (Will Joyner, N.Y. TIMES, 10/17).