Showtime’s Giant leap

Ridley bonds with cabler over baseball pic

Showtime is working with John Ridley (“Three Kings”) on a movie about the steroids scandal surrounding Major League Baseball and San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds.

Adam Fierro (“The Shield”) is on board to pen the project, currently in early development. Ridley and his Intl. Famous Players Radio Picture shingle will exec produce. Marit Weisenberg, head of development for the company, will serve as associate producer.

Based on Jonathan Littman’s Playboy article “Gunning for the Big Guy,” pic will concern home run hero Bonds and how he became involved in one of the most far-reaching steroids controversies in American sports. Littman will co-produce and consult on the project.

The federal steroid distribution case against nutritional supplements company Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative alleges that its founder Victor Conte, lab VP James Valente — and Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson — conspired to distribute human growth hormone, testosterone cream and a designer steroid called THG to star athletes. Anderson was indicted on steroid distribution charges in February. Defense lawyers were denied a request for dismissal in December.

Bonds and the New York Yankees’ Jason Giambi are among a handful of athletes who testified in front of a grand jury. Giambi acknowledged using illegal steroids while Bonds said he used what he believed was flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis.

Attorneys for Balco have used Littman’s Playboy article as evidence that the lead investigator in the matter, IRS special agent Jeff Novitsky, had a personal vendetta against Bonds.

ICM-repped Ridley currently moderates “Movie Club With John Ridley,” a weekly movie review show for AMC (Daily Variety, Dec. 6).

Showtime’s longform department is dabbling in other scandals as well: Paybox is fast-tracking development on a two-hour about the grudge match between Michael Eisner and Michael Ovitz (Daily Variety, Dec. 10), and it is set to bow “Our Fathers,” about pedophilia in the Catholic Church, in March.