Movie deal on base for Lou Gehrig biopic

Lou Gehrig (1939)

Lou Gehrig (1939)

Chicago author Jonathan Eig’s bestselling biography of baseball legend Lou Gehrig just moved a step closer to becoming a movie.

Robert Molloy, grandson of the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, has joined producer Armando Gutierrez to develop Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig as a feature film.

Molloy and Gutierrez announced their plans Friday at a press conference at New York’s Heritage Field, where the old Yankee Stadium once stood.

Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig

“The only black and white photos that hang at Yankees Stadium are those of legends,” Molloy said in a statement. “When I was a kid, I used to stare in awe at Lou Gehrig’s photos, having heard so many stories of his greatness. Today, I am honored to have the chance to contribute to the telling of Gehrig’s story. I am extremely passionate about transforming the words from this book into the colorful motion picture that Gehrig’s life inspired.”

Gutierrez and partner Arthur L. Bernstein last year optioned the film rights to Eig’s universally acclaimed biography of Gehrig, winner of the 2005 Casey Award for best baseball book of the year.

“We are looking for the right studio partner and actor to help bring this legendary Yankees story to life,” Gutierrez said.

With no script completed or star attached to the project, Eig said, it was “way too soon” to say whether the movie would get made. “But fingers crossed,” he added.

Eig, who also wrote Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season; Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster; and The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution, is writing his fifth book, Ali: A Life, the first full-scale biography of Muhammad Ali, to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.