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Gillespie to direct Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’

Jon Hamm attached to star in baseball drama

“Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie is in negotiations to direct Disney’s sports drama “Million Dollar Arm,” which “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm is attached to topline.

Mayhem Pictures principals Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray are producing with Joe Roth and Palak Patel of Roth Films.

Written by Tom McCarthy (“Win Win”), pic is based on the true story of how sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) discovered professional pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel through a reality show he staged in India with cricket players.

Bernstein noticed how similar the game’s throwing motion was to that of baseball pitchers and created the reality show “Million Dollar Arm” to audition 40,000 cricket players. Not only did he have to teach Singh and Patel the rules of baseball, but he also had to teach them about American culture and speaking English. Bernstein’s work paid off when the duo became the first Indian players to sign with pro baseball teams when they got contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In addition to “Lars and the Real Girl,” Gillespie previously directed “Mr. Woodcock” and DreamWorks’ “Fright Night” remake. He also directed numerous episodes of Showtime’s ‘United States of Tara,” and most recently, has been developing Will Ferrell starrer “Flamingo Thief” for Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films. Gillespie is repped by UTA, Rumble Media and attorney Warren Dern.

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