movies

Casey Affleck to write/direct biopic of baseball phenom Josh Hamilton

Story to focus on MLB superstar's comeback following addiction struggle

<p>Casey Affleck</p>

Casey Affleck

Credit: Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

Casey Affleck has officially been admitted to the major leagues.

The sometime-actor has been hired to write and direct a biopic of baseball phenom Josh Hamilton, who came back from the depths of drug addiction in the early-mid-'00s to become a five-time MLB All-Star with the Texas Rangers (following a single season with the Cincinnati Reds).

The film will be based on Hamilton's 2010 autobiography "Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back," the rights to which have been acquired by Relativity Media, according to Deadline.

News of Affleck's interest in writing and directing the film arose back in June, but with Relativity's involvement the project has reached a more concrete stage.

Two years after being drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 for a nearly $4 million signing bonus and joining their minor league system, Hamilton sustained injuries in a serious automobile accident which led to a downward spiral into drug and alcohol addiction. Only after an intervention by former minor league player and manager Roy Silver, who allowed Hamilton to use the facilities at his Florida baseball academy in exchange for cleaning toilets and performing other odd jobs, did he finally manage to kick the habit and get back on his feet.

Hamilton made his major league debut in 2007 for the Reds in a game against the Chicago Cubs. Only weeks later he was voted National League Rookie of the Month, and he soon went on to become one of the biggest stars in pro baseball. He ended the 2012 season as a free agent and is now being courted by several major-league teams.

Affleck's directorial debut came with the 2010 faux-doc "I'm Still Here," which documented actor Joaquin Phoenix's supposed meltdown while embarking on a hip-hop career. As an actor, he recently wrapped the Scott Cooper thriller "Out of the Furnace" co-starring Christian Bale, Forest Whitaker, Woody Harrelson and Zoe Saldana.

Would you be interested in seeing a biopic on Hamilton? Any ideas which actors might be the right fit to star as the slugger? Sound off below.

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