‘The Natural’ Director Barry Levinson Points to the Bleachers for Hank Aaron Biopic

By  · Published on April 4th, 2012

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar winner Barry Levinson – who directed The Natural, Wag the Dog, Rain Man and about a dozen other notable flicks – is on board to helm a Hank Aaron biopic which focuses on the baseball icon’s quest to beat Babe Ruth’s career home run record. Writer Adam Mazer (You Don’t Know Jack) is also on deck.

The project is born from the Howard Bryant book “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron,” and Aaron will reportedly be on hand to aid in the production.

The Hall-of-Famer is one of the greatest ball players of all time. He got his start in the Negro American League and ended up playing 23 seasons in the major leagues, but the movie will most directly focus on 1972–1974 when Aaron was chasing the Sultan of Swat amidst death threats and an overwhelming amount of people who didn’t want to see a black man beat a white man’s baseball record. As a project, it sounds stirring – something that could use a steady hand. Yes, it’s been a while since 1984 and The Natural, but Levinson is an obvious choice given his background both with baseball and with a style that celebrates uplifting tales of triumph.

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