Producer Howard Baldwin is serving up a feature about tennis legend Bill Tilden.
Baldwin Entertainment has teamed with GlennIris Entertainment to option “Big Bill,” a screenplay Frank Deford has written based on his novel “Big Bill: The Triumphs and the Tragedy.”
Tilden dominated tennis in the 1920s, winning six straight U.S. Open singles titles and becoming the first American to win Wimbledon. He was also a contract bridge champ, musicologist, novelist, playwright and actor. On the other side of the ledger, Tilden was famously self-destructive, going to jail twice for sexual misbehavior with teenage boys and dying penniless.
Baldwin (“Ray”) will produce with GlennIris principals Charles O. Glenn and Barbara Cocks and Oren Stevens.
GlennIris put up the money to pay Deford for his book and his script, and GlennIris and Baldwin Entertainment are working to set up the production financing.
Deford, a senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated, previously had his novel “Everybody’s All-American” turned into a feature and “Alex: The Life of a Child” turned into a telepic.