In a preemptive seven-figure deal, Warner Bros. has acquired screen rights to “My Losing Season,” Pat Conroy’s memoir of his final season as point guard for the Citadel basketball team in 1966-67.
The film will be co-financed by WB and Gaylord Entertainment. Brad Grey and Brad Pitt will produce with Gaylord’s Hunt Lowry.
“Season” chronicles Conroy’s senior season as an overachieving point guard and team captain at the military school. At its core, “My Losing Season” is the coming-of-age story of a youth who prepares to give up hoops, the sport that gave him a feeling of self worth and a refuge from a bullying fighter pilot father. Conroy’s dad inspired “The Great Santini.”
Given the personal nature of his book, Conroy had no intention to aggressively shop the screen rights, said Marly Rusoff, the lit agent who made Conroy’s deal along with Michael Rudell. Producers came calling anyway, with Warners’ preemptive package the most alluring.
Gaylord topper Lowry has known Conroy for 15 years.
“It’s a book that illustrates the resilience of the human spirit and how a boy grows through moments of glory and moments of loss,” said Grey.
The Oscar-nommed Conroy won’t write the script. He’s busy barnstorming his new book and will then begin another novel, along with a second memoir that will explore his culinary passions, complete with recipes.
WB exec Kevin McCormick will shepherd the pic with Gaylord exec Stacy Cohen. Gaylord Entertainment chairman E.K. Gaylord II will exec produce with Jennifer Aniston, who is a partner in the Grey/Pitt producing venture.