“Moneyball” has proved to be an unequivocal success. With six Academy Award nominations, an extremely warm critical reception and a solid showing at the box office everyone involved must have been busy giving themselves slaps on the back to celebrate a job well done. The thing is though, it’s hard to imagine whose career the success has significantly affected. Director Bennett Miller had already broken through with “Capote“, Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin were already two of the (if not the two) biggest name screenwriters in Hollywood, while Brad Pitt is Brad Pitt. It’s probably easiest to make a case for Jonah Hill whose strong turn and Oscar nod mean he will now be able to balance his comedic roles with a few more dramatic ones.
But as it turns out, the biggest winner from it all looks to be Michael Lewis — the author of the critically acclaimed 2003 book of the same name that the film was based on. Disney in particular have been quick to spot Lewis’ potential, not only optioning the rights to his 2005 book “Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life” but giving him the chance to make his screenwriting debut and pen the script.
Of course, “Moneyball” wasn’t Lewis’ first flirtation with Hollywood or the Academy Awards with 2009’s “The Blind Side” having been based on another one of his books. With the two movies based on his books both breaking $100 million (“The Blind Side” actually grossed three times that) it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lewis’ books are now hot properties. Gil Netter who produced “The Blind Side” will re-team with Lewis for this true story of the author’s journey to rediscover his influential baseball mentor, Coach Fitz, whose methods had a tremendous impact on his generation of athletes and leaders. Lewis also has his book “Liar’s Poker” in the works at Warners with “Crazy Stupid Love” helmers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to direct, and Paramount are developing an adaptation of “The Big Short.” By our count there are still at least eight of Lewis’ books which sill haven’t been adapted though, so what are you waiting for Hollywood? [Variety]