The Reel Cinemaniac: Back to the Sandlot

The Reel Cinemaniac / Josh Simpkins

From Over the Fence (1917) to The Catcher was a Spy (2018) baseball films have captivated moviegoers or more than a century. In my opinion, the 1980s and ‘90s released some of the best baseball films ever put to celluloid with serious titles such as The Natural (1984) and The Babe (1992), to Comedy franchise Major League (1989), Major League II (1994), and Major League: Back To The Minors (1998) and those that balance both comedy and drama like Mr. Baseball (1992) and A League of Their Own (1992)—not to mention Costner classics Bull Durham (1988) and Field Of Dreams (1989).

This period also saw many baseball films geared toward children. Of these films the one that seems to have stood the test of time is David Mickey Evans’ 1993 cult classic The Sandlot. Well, friends and neighbors, I have just received word that 20th Century Fox is in early development on a prequel to The Sandlot, with the original film’s writer and director David Mickey Evans attached to co-write the script with esteemed short writer Austin Reynolds (The First Hope). Details on the film’s plot are under wraps, however, word around the watercooler is it involves the legend of The Beast from the first film.

This news comes as The Sandlot recently hit the 25-year mark since its release. For those who have never seen the film, set in the summer 1962, the coming-of-age comedy centered on new-kid-in-town Scottie Smalls (Tom Guiry) who, after moving to a new neighborhood, befriends a group of boys who play baseball at the sandlot behind Mr. Mertle’s (James Earl Jones) house and get into a series of touching adventures that culminates with the ultimate game of pickle against Mr. Mertle’s baseball eating guard dog The Beast. The pic spawned two direct-to-video sequels: 2005’s The Sandlot 2, which featured an entirely new group of boys, and 2007’s The Sandlot: Heading Home, starring Luke Perry.
This is good news for fans of the original film who have long pondered how exactly The Beast came to be, well, The Beast. I, for one, cannot wait to see what Evans has up his sleeve for this highly anticipated prequel. Now to go dig out my old pair of P.F. Flyers.

Joshua Simpkins, affectionately known as “Big” Josh to his friends and family, has resided in the scenic KRV for most of his life. He is an alumnus of Kern Valley High School Class of 1997 and graduated with honors from Cerro Coso Community College Lake Isabella Campus in 2009. Josh is a devoted husband, loving father, and extremely proud grandpa. Not to mention his great love of the cinema is apparent in his film critiques.