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Roberto Clemente feature film in the works

Shirley McMarlin
| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 9:57 a.m.
A movie is reportedly in the works based on the life of legendary Pirates right fielder Roberto Clemente, seen here in 1972 swinging at the pitch that became his 3,000th hit.
A movie is reportedly in the works based on the life of legendary Pirates right fielder Roberto Clemente, seen here in 1972 swinging at the pitch that became his 3,000th hit.

A movie based on the life of famed Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Roberto Clemente is in the works, according to Variety .

Ezra Edelman, director of the Emmy and Oscar-winning ESPN documentary "O.J.: Made in America," reportedly has signed on for the biopic from Legendary Entertainment.

The studio purchased the rights to "Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero," a book by David Maraniss, and inked an agreement with Clemente's family for his life rights.

Clemente's story will provide plenty of material for a full-length feature film. He played 18 seasons for the Pirates, winning four National League batting titles and one MVP award. He earned 12 Gold Gloves and was a 15-time All-Star.

Clemente dedicated his off-the-field life to humanitarian efforts. He was killed in a 1972 plane crash while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The plane crashed into the ocean off the coast of his native Puerto Rico and his body was never recovered.

Clemente's winter league teammate Tom Walker, the father of former Pirates' infielder Neil Walker, missed the flight when Clemente urged him to stay in San Juan.

In another local connection, Legendary Entertainment was founded by Thomas Tull, part-owner of the Steelers. The studio also produced the 2013 Jackie Robinson film, "42."

Edelman will develop the Clemente biopic with writer Rowan Ricardo Phillips. John Lesher will produce with Fuego Films' Ben Silverman and Jay Weisleder, with Giselle Fernandez and Sandra Condito as executive producers.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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