Getting Hollywood to Play Ball With ‘Moneyball’

From Tom Russo at on September 16, 2011, with quotes from SABR member Rob Edelman:

Even if “Moneyball’’ proves to be a hit at the box office, as a mainstream entertainment concept it’s one that would seem to have had a couple of strikes against it from the start. First, it’s a movie about baseball – the national pastime, yes, but not a story subject that can count everyone as a fan. What’s more, it’s a movie about baseball’s front-office inner workings, one that hews fairly closely to the 2003 Michael Lewis business tome on which it’s based.


“With ‘Moneyball,’ you’re dealing with a best-selling book, and that becomes a hook,’’ says film studies professor and baseball historian Rob Edelman, author of the genre survey “Great Baseball Films.’’ “It doesn’t matter if it’s about baseball, football, soccer, or the economy, although baseball has often served onscreen as a reflection of our culture. No, baseball films traditionally aren’t hundred-million-dollar box office hits. But this is a book that people have heard of, and the studio can market that.’’ (Another current project validating the visibility-trumps-translatability argument: Cameron Diaz and pals’ “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,’’ due at a multiplex near you next spring. Really.)

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Originally published: October 3, 2011. Last Updated: October 3, 2011.