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Film News Roundup: Chicago Cubs World Series Movie Draws Director

In today’s film news roundup, the Chicago Cubs movie gets a director, Geena DavisBentonville Film Festival will return in May, and “Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee is developing a Christmas comedy.

DIRECTOR HIRES

Shane Abbess will direct a movie about the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years.

The film is being produced by Radar Pictures topper Ted Field, which set the project up in March when it acquired movie rights to David Ross’ memoir, “Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages.” The book is co-written by sportswriter Don Yaeger and was published by Hachette Books.

The book centers on the final game of the series against the Cleveland Indians, during which the 40-year-old Ross became the oldest player ever to hit a home run in game seven of the World Series. The Cubs won 8-7 in 10 innings. Ross had announced that he would retire at the end of the season following a 15-year career in Major League Baseball.

The producers are Ted Field, Mike Weber and Ram Getz, with Lisette Bross executive producing. Executive producers are Ross and Yaeger through Ian Kleinert’s Objective Entertainment. Kleinert and Ryan Gleichowski will co-produce.

Abbess’ credits include the science-fiction films “Gabriel” and “The Osiris Child.” He is repped by WME, Australian manager Mark Morrissey from Morrissey Management, Zero Gravity Management, and Marks Law Group. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

FILM FESTIVALS

The Bentonville Film Festival, co-founded by Geena Davis, has announced that its fourth annual festival has been set for May 1 to May 6 in Bentonville, Ark.

The festival touts itself as the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital, and retail home entertainment distribution to a select winner.

“It’s exciting to watch the filmmaking community and senior industry executives come together to support women and diverse voices,” Davis said. “Word is traveling that BFF identifies these voices and connects them with partners who’l ensure that their stories reach wider audiences. We look forward to presenting all forms of media and providing unique opportunities for storytellers.”

The festival also plans to build on the success of its 25th anniversary screening of “A League of Their Own” through a legacy series, which will feature pioneering films that have changed the conversation.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

Twentieth Century Fox Film is developing the Christmas family comedy “Rock the Bells” with “Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee.

The studio acquired Lee’s pitch for “Rock the Bells,” which he will direct from a script by Malcolm Spellman and Dalan Musson. Lee and Tajamika Paxton will produce under Lee’s Blackmaled Productions company. Melanie Clark will oversee for Blackmailed.

Lee is currently shooting “Night School,” starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. He is repped by Paradigm and Del Shaw Moonves. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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