In his first role since his breakout performance as the title character in “Life of Pi,” Suraj Sharma has chosen to play another Indian boy on a remarkable journey — this time in the real-life tale “Million Dollar Arm” as a cricket player who wins a reality television competition and a contract to play baseball in the United States. Of the two actual pitchers, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, it is unclear which one Sharma will be playing. Alan Arkin has also signed on to embody another industry veteran type after his Oscar-nominated turn in “Argo,” this time as a retired baseball scout. The two join Jon Hamm as sports agent J.B. Bernstein who orchestrated this unlikely fairytale — which is shaping up to have an increasingly promising cast.
Behind the camera, Craig Gillespie of “Lars and the Real Girl” will helm while Tom McCarthy (“Win Win,” “The Visitor”) wrote the script. A Disney sports film is not necessarily what you’d expect next from these guys, but with the cast at hand, we’re guessing they will be aiming for something more than a formulaic feel-good story. With an average cast, this could land somewhere in “Rookie of the Year” meets “Cool Runnings”-esque fish out of water territory, but obviously, this feels much more substantial.
1993 fears aside, we are curious about this one. The reality television angle adds the potential for some interesting commentary, and the casting seems to be on the right track. Stay tuned. [The Wrap/Variety]