Walden Media has acquired the rights to Mike Lupica’s forthcoming baseball novel “Heat” and set it up with Joseph Del Hierro’s Oh Really Prods.
Project revolves around a 12-year-old Cuban immigrant who’s a baseball prodigy living without his parents in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. The boy dreams of playing in the Little League World Series until a rival accuses him being older than the league limit.
“Heat” is set to be published by Philomel, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, in the spring.
Oh Really Prods. has a first-look production deal with Walden. “Heat” is the first project to be developed under that deal.
Lupica is a sports reporter for the New York Daily News, a regular on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters” and a frequent guest on “Imus in the Morning.” His first book for children, “Travel Team,” reached the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
David Kaufmann and Jared Mass will oversee the project for Walden Media, reporting to exec VP of production Alex Schwartz.
Walden is producing “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” to be released by Disney on Dec. 9, and is partnered with Paramount, Nickelodeon and Kerner Entertainment to produce “Charlotte’s Web.” It’s developing adaptations of children’s books “Hoot” and “How to Eat Fried Worms” for New Line.