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Fans of “A League of Their Own” have a new Amazon Prime Video series to look forward to, but if things had gone just a bit differently, there could have been a second movie as well. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter to commemorate the film’s 30th anniversary, the film’s screenwriter Lowell Ganz spoke about plans for a prequel that were made in the wake of the initial film’s success. While it never materialized, the second movie would have focused on the baseball career of Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan.
“We actually wanted to do a prequel sequel — we wanted to do a movie about Jimmy,” Ganz said. “It was going to talk about his career before he got involved with the women’s baseball league, and then it would sort of skip over that, and the last act was going to be his career afterward, where he got a job managing a men’s baseball team and actually did a favor for an older Black player that he had met in the prequel part, to give him one last shot. This would be a year or two after Jackie Robinson. Tom was interested, and we couldn’t get Columbia to say yes to it.”
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Ganz says that the studio was uninterested in making a follow up to the women’s baseball classic that didn’t include women playing baseball.
“We wrote it — they paid us to write a script,” he said. “As Tom put it, it was when he was still young enough to be believable as a ballplayer. As I recall, Columbia wanted us to do another movie about, as they said, ‘the girls.’ We had nothing else to say about that because we felt like another movie about them would be ‘The Bad News Bears Go to Japan.’ We were not seeing eye-to-eye with the Columbia people. They wanted Tom, of course. But they wanted all the ladies as well in a story about what they went on to do, I guess. I don’t know what story they thought we could write about them at that point. But Babaloo and I, and Penny, couldn’t think of one. So it just fell apart.”
Still, 30 years later, his film is about to find new life in the form of a television reboot. Just don’t expect Ganz to be watching, although he wishes the series well.
“I’m not speaking from a place of resentment. I’m just speaking from a place of, I doubt that I will watch it because it will feel too strange to me. I can’t imagine that I will enjoy the experience,” he said. “Those characters are mine.”
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