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Proposed movie may feature Canseco, Scorpions
Since being introduced as manager of the Scorpions in May, Jose Canseco has been continually promising to bring Hollywood to Yuma.
Last week, Hollywood came calling.
Scott Capestany was in town scouting Yuma as the main setting for a movie he hopes to start producing next year, “Centerfield.” The writer/director/producer said the movie is a feel-good-story about a former big league player looking to get back to the bigs through an independent team, the Yuma Scorpions.
Capestany — who said he produces a sports show in Seattle and has one credit on his imdb.com page — said he feels confident the movie will be made.
“We have a lot of momentum because Major League Baseball and Little League International have both endorsed the script,” Capestany said. “Those are both major multibillion dollar organization that are very picky with certain creative content. When they jumped right on, I knew I had a winner.”
According to both Capestany and his website, www.centerfieldstudios.com, the story is about Roberto Precario, a guy who played five or six years of Major League Baseball before suffering a “unique” injury that made him disappear for four or five years. A former teammate of his — tentatively to be played by Jose Canseco — invites to him to play for Yuma before giving up baseball for good.
“I think this role will be easy for me because I don’t have to go so far out of my character,” Canseco said. “I think it will be fun to have more or less a supporting role. The curiosity level might even help the sales. Plus it has a good, solid story.”
Precario helps turn the team around and clinch its first playoff berth but, according to the website, comes down with amnesia. After a series of events he ends up in a mountain town, meets a young Little League player named Stevie and falls in love with his mother, Sydney. Once his memory comes back, he has to choose between the love of his life and baseball.
“Once we attach Alyssa Milano — that’s not official right now — but once that’s official we’ll probably start the film next spring or summertime,” Capestany said. “This is the year we’re going to do it. As far as funding or things like that go, I’ve never had problems funding any of my productions. It’s just a matter of sorting out some of the details.”
Capestany said the next step is filming a trailer for the movie in September during the Scorpions’ last homestand of the year. He said he has three backers financially for the film, so doesn’t think distribution will be a problem. And he added that he really feels Yuma is the perfect fit for the setting.
“If Jose is still around and the team is still around, then we’re going to make the feature here,” he said. “The town we’re scouting for when our hero goes on a break is this small mountain town in California called Alpine. We’ve done the preliminary on that. But it just fits the script as far as Yuma goes. We want it to be this desolate, last outpost area. ... If all goes well, and (the team) is still here and Canseco is still here, then the odds are very good we’ll be filming here.”
Capestany said he’s had the script for the movie for more than 10 years. He was set to start filming on Sept. 15, 2001 but was delayed due to the New York City terror attacks four days earlier. After that, he felt that amid baseball’s on-going steroid controversy, the time wasn’t right.
“Baseball in my opinion wasn’t ready for this movie,” Capestany said. “There were still a lot of question marks in a lot of fans’ minds. But a lot of these are out in the open now, baseball is what it is now, and people are ready for a nice feel good family movie that’s going to have a good story to it.”
As for having Canseco in the film despite of that feeling toward the steroid era, Capestany said the two aren’t necessarily connected and that Canseco is essentially a “cameo.”
“We’re not using him as a way to attract audience,” Capestany said. “The script is strong enough. I thought that since he was here and I like this area that putting him in it .. might give the public a different look at him.”
When he started up the project last year, he talked to Kevin Outcalt, commissioner of the-then Golden Baseball League, and told him he was thinking of changing Precario from a minor leaguer to a guy looking to the independent leagues as his route back to the majors.
Despite their mutual excitement, both Capestany and Canseco warned that not much about the movie is set in stone.
“We’re still a long way from any type of inception,” Canseco said. “It’s in its infancy stage.”