Apple is turning its lens on the Iron Horse.
The iPhone maker/streamer is teaming with Universal Television and Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video to adapt author Jonathan Eig’s book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, as a scripted television series, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Dan Kay (the upcoming Spider & Jessie) is on board to co-write the script alongside the author, Eig, and serve as showrunner on the drama, which is currently in the development stages. Eig will be credited as a co-exec producer. Peter Farrelly (Apple’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever) is attached as an exec producer and would direct the pilot should the untitled drama move forward. Michael Uslan, David Uslan and Charles Wessler will also exec produce alongside Saturday Night Live mastermind Michaels and his son, Broadway Video creative exec Eddie Michaels.
It’s unclear if Major League Baseball will be involved in the potential series.
Reps for Apple and producers Universal Television declined to comment.
The drama has a working title of The Luckiest Man, which is a nod to the Hall of Famer’s iconic 1939 retirement speech that came two months after he was diagnosed with ALS, which is now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Gehrig, a first baseman, played 17 seasons for the New York Yankees and earned the nickname of the Iron Horse for his incredible streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games. (The streak, which many thought would never be broken, was eventually topped by Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr.) Gehrig ultimately pulled himself out of the Yankees lineup when the effects of ALS began to impact his play on the field. He died two years later. The perennial All-Star won the Triple Crown, two AL MVP awards and was a member of six World Series championship teams. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939, the same year he retired. Major League Baseball in 2021 declared June 2 to be known as Lou Gehrig Day across the league, in tribute to one of the game’s greatest players and to help raise awareness of ALS.
Eig’s book is the definitive biography on Gehrig and drew on interviews and more than 200 pages of previously unpublished letters both to and from the athlete. The book was previously developed in 2017 as a movie and set up with Kay penning the screenplay and Jay Russell attached as director. While nothing came from the project, the authorized biopic was blessed by the New York Yankees. Michaels and David Uslan, as well as the author and Kay, were all attached. Gehrig’s life was previously portrayed in the 1942 feature film The Pride of the Yankees, which starred Gary Cooper. The pic was ranked as AFI’s third-best sports movie ever in 2008.
Kay is repped by APA and Circle of Confusion; Farrelly is with CAA, Anonymous Content and Lichter Grossman.
Michaels and his Broadway Video banner have been based at Universal Television for decades. The SNL guru’s scripted TV roster includes Apple’s Schmigadoon as well as The Other Two, Peacock’s Bust Down, Pete Davidson’s upcoming Bupkis, and former hits 30 Rock and Los Espookys.