Ratner acquired the feature rights through his RatPac Entertainment to Scott Eden’s article “No One Walks Off the Island.”
The move came two months after the producer bought the rights to Jesse Katz’ article, “Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers” published in the May issue of Los Angeles Magazine.
Ratner is producing the project with Beau Flynn, who will produce through his FlynnPictureCo. banner.
Puig signed a 7-year $42 million deal with the Dodgers in 2012 after defecting from Cuba. He was a key factor in the team making the National League playoffs last season, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs in 104 games.
He’s having a solid season so far this year with a .325 batting average, 11 home runs and 41 RBIs in 65 games.
Puig attempted to escape from Cuba several times before succeeding in 2012 with the help of smugglers working for the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel who took him to the Yucatan Peninsula. The cartel then held him captive for three weeks after his backer allegedly did not pay the $250,000 that had been agreed to as the price for getting Puig out of Cuba.
Eden’s story detailed the escape — including information that Puig and his party had lost hope before the boat showed up at the Bay of Pigs.
“And so the group decided to give up. They would surrender. All were severely dehydrated, and starving, having ditched their provisions when they were forced to run from the police into the sea. They would start walking back toward the nearest settlement, some 40 kilometers in the direction they’d come, and in the meantime attempt to flag down one of the patrolling coast guard ships. Better to go to prison than die in the Ciénaga de Zapata.”
RatPac’s James Packer and John Cheng will executive produce. The project is not yet set up at a studio.
Ratner and Flynn are producers on Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming “Hercules,” which Ratner directed. They have also set up a film project at Fox based on Ben Mezrich’s novel “Seven Wonders,” which is being published later this year.