One of baseball’s most famously outrageous games is headed to the big screen with the help of Ice Cube.
On June 12, 1970 — exactly 47 years ago — pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while high on LSD. You’ve heard the story before, but now we’ve learned that Ice Cube plans to retell it as a motion picture with his son in the starring role.
Deadline delivers the news of the flick, which will be developed by Ice Cube’s Cube Vision production company:
Now the story of Dock Ellis is coming to the big screen with O’Shea Jackson, Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) attached to star in the title role of Dock. David Permut, Jeff Kwatinetz and Ice Cube are producing from a script by Joey Poach. They are out to directors now.
Dock is the first project to come from Cube Vision’s strategic partnership with AID Partners, a media investment company founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Kelvin Wu that calls for Cube Vision to develop its own slate, hire its own screenwriters and then bring fully developed projects to studios.
The role of Dock Ellis is also a meaty one to play for Jackson Jr. The ball player was a colorful character — a highly competitive loudmouth who suffered no fools and called out racism when he experienced it. For instance, when he wore curlers in his hair at a workout, he was forbidden to do so ever again by the MLB Commissioner. Although he complied, he was quick to point out the hypocrisy as the MLB allowed a white player to wear a bad, shoulder-length toupee at the same time.
While Ice Cube’s most recognizable roles have come as an actor in the “Friday” and “Barbershop” series, his biggest win as a producer is cut from the same cloth as “Dock” — real-life storytelling. Cube Vision was one of the companies behind the NWA biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” which was a big success at the box office and earned an Oscar nomination.
There’s already one great Dock Ellis film out there — a 4:31 animated short by No Mas that features Ellis himself telling the story of his no-hitter to radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel shortly before his death in 2008. If you’ve never seen it, remedy that right now:
If Ice Cube’s version of the Dock Ellis story is even half as good as that, it’ll be worth watching.
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