‘A League of Their Own’ Reboot Promises a Deeper Dive into Women’s Baseball
Amazon Studios likes what it sees so far and has picked up the “A League of Their Own” series, an idea that has been three years in the making.
It will premier with perhaps several more layers of woke than the beloved original, the Penny Marshall-directed film that came out in 1992, which brought a spotlight to women’s professional baseball.
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League operated from 1943-1954. And its legacy is getting another Hollywood-produced homage in the form of an hourlong series from “Broad City's” Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle).
"Twenty-eight years ago, Penny Marshall told us a story about women playing professional baseball that up until then had been largely overlooked,” Jacobson and Graham said in a joint statement provided by the Hollywood Reporter. “We grew up obsessed with the film, like everyone else. Three years ago, we approached Sony with the idea of telling a new, still overlooked set of those stories. With the help of an enormously talented team of collaborators, an amazing cast, and the devoted support of Amazon to this project, we feel beyond lucky and excited to get to bring these characters to life. It took grit, fire, authenticity, wild imagination and a crackling sense of humor for these players to achieve their dreams. We’re hoping to bring audiences a story with all of those qualities."
The film left an indelible mark, showing a story that so often gets ignored through the passage of time. Instead, a fictionalized season out of the league’s history gets a feature film and now, three decades later, a reboot on a streaming giant.
Deadline cites Amazon Studios, which explains this reboot will provide a more immersive look into various themes that may have been missed or merely glossed over in the film.
“The show takes a deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters as they carve their own paths towards the field, both in the League and outside of it,” via Deadline.com.
There is no shortage of characters we would like to revisit from the film. However, it would be far more beneficial if showrunners decide to delve into other teams, other possibilities.
The film only briefly tipped its cap to the passion African-Americans and people of color had for the game during that time period.
There is an iconic moment from the film when Rockford Peaches star Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) runs out to field a foul ball only to see a woman from the segregated Black section of the stands come out and fire a rocket over Hinson’s head.
The two acknowledge one another. There is an unfulfilled promise taking place. Women are finally getting a shot to play professional baseball, but not all women.
The scene is perhaps a hat tip to women of color who did in fact get to play professional baseball, only they did so in the Negro Leagues.
Toni Stone, Mami "Peanut" Johnson and Connie Morgan remain baseball pioneers, suiting up at various times for the league’s Indianapolis Clowns.
Johnson, in the following video, intimates that the scene with the unnamed Black woman in the film may have been a reference to her. She also explains about the time that she went to try out for the AAGPBL but was not allowed.
“They just looked at us, as if to say, ‘What do you want?’” Johnson said. “And we left. They wouldn’t give us the opportunity to try out.”
The show will star Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, Roberta Colindrez, and Priscilla Delgado, with recurring guest stars Molly Ephraim, Kate Berlant and Melanie Field.
The fact that several of the featured actors are women of color suggests the show will indeed bring a new perspective to what is 30 years later a classic and beloved tale.
“There’s no crying in baseball, or at Prime Video,” said Vernon Sanders, Co-Head of Television, Amazon Studios, via Deadline. “Will and Abbi have taken a classic movie, reimagining it for a new generation with new characters and their own fresh, modern vision on a timeless story of big dreams, friendship, love, and, of course, baseball.”
It’s safe to say this series can’t get here quick enough. Laughs, baseball and great stories: Prepare your streaming binge rooms accordingly.