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Exclusive 'Battered Bastards' trailer: Kurt Russell and the misfits that rocked baseball

Kevin Costner’s Durham Bulls. Charlie Sheen’s Cleveland Indians. Walter Matthau’s Bad News Bears. Wildly rambunctious baseball teams that became beloved cinematic all-stars. But they were no Portland Mavericks, the real-deal franchise that grabbed minor-league baseball by the short hairs in the mid 1970s.

In the Netflix documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, directors Chapman and Maclain Way turn back the clock to 1973, when their grandfather, Hollywood actor Bing Russell (Bonanza), purchased the Class A Portland franchise and fielded a completely independent team against a league of teams stocked with Major League Baseball prospects. He held open tryouts and recruited cast-offs who were looking for second—or last—chances to make it the big leagues. “It was just a wild-ass ball club of wild-ass guys,” says Russell’s son, Kurt, the famous actor. “They were very serious about playing and they wanted to have the opportunity to show those clubs that had let them go that they had made a mistake.”

Check out the exclusive trailer below: READ FULL STORY

Kathryn Bigelow and Todd Field line up rival Bowe Bergdahl movie projects

Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has been free for less than three weeks, but two major Hollywood filmmakers are already prepping movies about his controversial service in Afghanistan and the five years he was held captive by the Taliban. Todd Field (Little Children) will adapt the late Michael Hasting’s story about Bergdahl, “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” which ran in Rolling Stone magazine in 2012. A rep for Field confirmed that the Oscar-nominated filmmaker will produce and direct it for Fox Searchlight.

Meanwhile, Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal are also developing a Bergdahl project. The two creative collaborators, who also made the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, would produce along with Megan Ellison, with Boal also writing the script. Bigelow, who already has another politically-charged post-9/11 fact-based tale to tell, True American, is not currently considering this is a project to direct. It is unclear what Boal’s script will be based upon; according to TIME, neither project has Bergdahl’s “life rights.” READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Todd Field looks back on the 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' -- EXCLUSIVE

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The Portland Mavericks baseball team were more than just mavericks. They were outlaws. In 1973, Hollywood actor Bing Russell roared into Oregon and established the Mavericks as an independent minor league team, meaning he had to recruit players that the Major Leagues franchises had rejected, a scrap heap that included a fair share of burn-outs, head-cases, and outright degenerates. “Guys were gambling in the back of the bus, there was drugs, there were women everywhere,” says Oscar-nominated director Todd Field (Little Children). “These guys were pirates.”

Field didn’t write or direct the Battered Bastards of Baseball, the documentary about the Mavericks that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20. But he does play an important role in the doc directed by Russell’s grandsons, Chapman and Maclain Way. Long before he broke into Hollywood, Field was the Mavericks’ wide-eyed 13-year-old bat-boy, watching his heroes act like the Lost Boys of Summer for as long as they possibly could. There was nobody who wasn’t half-baked or out of their mind on that team — in really good ways and in ways that were kind of scary,” he says. “They all played together and they all laughed together and they all fought together and they all got drunk together. And in that way, yes, it was a very Robert Louis Stevenson [Treasure Island] kind of situation for me.” READ FULL STORY

'Little Children' director Todd Field to helm adaptation of 'Beautiful Ruins'

Beautiful Ruins, the epic romance novel EW counted among 2012’s best fiction, has found a director. Todd Field will helm the project and will also co-write the script with Jess Walter, author of the best-selling book.

The news was announced today by the heads of Cross Creek Pictures (Black Swan) and Smuggler Films (Greetings From Tim Buckley), which are set to produce the project. READ FULL STORY

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