When it rains, it pours: two Yogi Berra films are in the works, with options for both signed in recent months. One of the films will be a documentary, while the other will be a feature film.
According to the Sports Business Journal, actor Nick Basta is taking care of the feature film and hopes to finish the screenplay later this year, while Peter Sobiloff will be producing the Berra documentary.
Basta is known for a handful of one-off roles on a variety of Law & Order series, a recurring role on the AMC show Turn: Washington’s Spies, and a pair of episodes of the third season of HBO’s True Detective. Sobiloff has produced a handful of features, including last summer’s short film Skin.
However, don’t expect Basta’s film to be concentrated on Berra’s baseball career.
“I don’t see this as a baseball movie, just a film about one of the most unique American characters ever,’’ said Basta, who grew up a Yankees die-hard with an Italian family in upstate New York. “Some people think Yogi’s more quoted in America than Shakespeare. His life was so American and he was an immigrant, so politically, it’s an important time to tell his story.”
Given how early we are in the process, we’re not going to see either of these films for awhile. But it’s interesting to me that three and a half years after his death, two films about Berra have been optioned so close to one another. Considering how popular Berra was during his career and life, I’m surprised it took this long for a filmmaker to decide to focus on Berra for their next project. But given how prominent of a figure he was during his time in the spotlight, I’m not complaining that we’re finally going to be getting some more original Yogi Berra content.