“Mickey” Released on DVD
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Harry Connick Jr., stars in “Mickey,” an original screenplay written by the best-selling author, who played Little League Baseball in Southhaven, Miss., in the 1960s.
The DVD is available for shipping now from the Little League on-line store. To order, click here. The price is $19.95, plus shipping. The DVD also is available in stores. Much of the final portion of “Mickey” was filmed in June and August 2001 at Little League International in South Williamsport, home of the Little League Baseball World Series. A film crew of about 100 spent 12 days in the Williamsport area.The film, directed by Hugh Wilson, opened last year in selected U.S. cities. Mr. Wilson also directed “The First Wives Club,” “Guarding Tess,” and “Blast from the Past,” among other hits.
In “Mickey,” Tripp Spence and Derrick decide to assume new identities and flee to Las Vegas, forcing Derrick (whose new name is Mickey), to forego his final year of eligibility in the Major Division of the local Little League in Virginia. But Mickey’s new identity makes him a year younger, and he plays in the following year as a 12-year-old, believing that the fraud will end with the final game of the regular season.
They don’t count on the fact that the league they’ve joined in Las Vegas is about to have a dream season, and its all-star team - led by Mickey - will have a chance to reach the pinnacle of youth sports: the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
“My two favorite sporting events each year to watch on television are the College World Series and the Little League World Series,” Mr. Grisham said. “I’d rather watch the Little League World Series than watch the Yankees and Braves.”
Shawn Salinas (“All That,” Nickelodeon), an actor/athlete from California, plays the title role. The role of Tony, Mickey’s coach, is played by Mike Starr (“Dumb and Dumber,” “Ed Wood,” “Mad Dog and Glory,” “On Deadly Ground” and “The Bodyguard”). Michelle Johnson (“Death Becomes Her,” “Far and Away”) plays the principal of the Las Vegas school where Mickey and his father end up.Mr. Grisham’s first visit to Williamsport came in February 2001 to pitch the idea to Little League International.
“We knew that Little League’s involvement would be crucial because the story culminates at the World Series in Williamsport,” Mr. Grisham said. “Hugh (Wilson, the film’s director) and I flew up to Williamsport and I got the grand tour of the facility for the first time. For me it was almost like going to heaven.
“When we filmed the two weeks up there, we asked the locals to come and play extras in the movie. Williamsport and the surrounding community answered the call and were extremely supportive.”
Other portions of “Mickey” were filmed in Charlottesville, as well as Richmond, and Petersburg, Va.
Several of John Grisham’s novels have been adapted for the big screen. “Mickey” was his second original screenplay to be made into a movie. The first was “The Gingerbread Man” in 1998. Another best-selling novel, “A Painted House,” was made into a television movie.
Mr. Wilson has directed several box office successes, but also is known from his days in television. He was the creator of “WKRP in Cincinnati,” and wrote for the “The Bob Newhart Show.” This was his first project with Mr. Grisham.
“I have always wanted to make a baseball movie,” Mr. Wilson said. “John and I have known each other for some time, and when I read ‘Mickey,’ I knew this would be the one.”
Before “Mickey,” only one other motion picture, “The Little Giants” in 1958, had received permission to use the Little League trademarks. “The Little Giants” is the story of the Monterrey, Mexico, Little League team that won the Little League Baseball World Series title in 1957. The movie also was the last to be filmed substantially in the Williamsport area.
“We’re pleased that Mr. Grisham wrote his screenplay with Little League Baseball as the backdrop,” Mr. Keener said. “Little League rarely approves the use of its trademarks in films or on television. However, we believe that the positive moral message at the outcome of ‘Mickey,’ as well as the outstanding reputation of Mr. Grisham, Mr. Wilson and the entire production company will reflect well on Little League.”