August 01, 2009

Biopic about baseball pioneer

Mose YellowHorse story planned for big screen

River Rock Entertainment, LLC, acquires motion picture rights to book by Pawnee authorRiver Rock Entertainment, LLC has acquired the motion picture rights to the novel “60 Feet Six Inches and Other Distances from Home: the (Baseball) Life of Mose YellowHorse” by Todd Fuller.

Published by Holy Cow! Press in 2002, “60 Feet Six Inches” tells the story of Mose YellowHorse, the first full-blooded Indian to play major league baseball. The book chronicles Mose’s bittersweet childhood, his transient career in baseball, his 15-year bout with alcoholism, and his eventual restoration to a place as a beloved elder in the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

Fuller is currently writing the screenplay adaptation with his wife and writing partner, Randi LeClair. Mark Marshall will produce with brother and River Rock co-founder, Mike Marshall.

“Todd’s book captured the life of Mose YellowHorse in a unique and powerful way,” Mark said. There are strong themes of overcoming personal tragedies and redemption, themes which Mike and I believe will resonate deeply with audiences worldwide.”

In addition to being a published author, Todd Fuller is the president of Pawnee Nations College in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Randi LeClair is a writer and an actress, appearing in the independent film, “American Indian Graffiti.” She is currently a graduate student in the University of Oklahoma’s Master of Professional Writing Program.
Comment:  I'm glad the people making the movie are Natives. Let's hope they don't go with someone obvious to play YellowHorse, like Adam Beach. Or worse, a Johnny Depp type with a small amount of Native blood. An actual Indian should play the full-blooded YellowHorse.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.


Jet said...


The real breakthrough will be when Non-Natives are behind the camera and deliver stories that don't rely on the easy Hollywood stereotypes.

As others have posted on this blog's going to take a cross-over film, probably several, to start getting people to realize Natives on screen are more than target practice for cowboys, savages to conquer, or stuck on the rez. I am glad to see that Natives are getting behind the camera, but would you say Spike Lee should only make films about Blacks? Or Spielberg about Jews? I think perspectives from inside and outside the culture are what is going to make it happen (think Danny Boyle and Slumdog Millionaire)

As far as your Adam Beach comment, I think he would be a great choice. Believe it or not, there is a lot to be said for experience on a movie set, you see real quick the actors who know the ropes and those who haven't been exposed to film making before...and lack of experience means more takes and more money. Even though Adam isn't "A-list" (which is meaning less and less these days), people do recognize him...and that does help sell a film. Adam is a pro and with the right director, he could help raise the level of lesser experienced performers thus raising the overall quality of the film. That is what most producers look for. As more Native performers get exposure (including Beach), more opportunities will emerge. Lets keep nurturing and hope that more films can be made that feature Natives in a positive light.

It won't happen until more tribes get behind film making, Hollywood doesn't care.

Keep the faith, Rob


dmarks said...

"The real breakthrough will be when Non-Natives are behind the camera and deliver stories that don't rely on the easy Hollywood stereotypes."

I think "The Only Good Indian" fits this description.

Rob said...

Interesting points, Jet. I hadn't thought about it from the producer's point of view. Obviously you know more about that than I do.

But from the audience's point of view, Beach has had several chances to become a superstar, including Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers, and Law & Order: SVU. He's approaching 40 and he hasn't achieved mainstream fame yet. Given that stars don't make movies a financial success, I'd recommend going with a lesser-known Native actor who has a chance to break out.