Apple is collaborating with Universal Television and Lorne Michaels’ entertainment company, Broadway Video to create a scripted television series about the life of famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig. The show will be based on author Jonathan Eig’s 2005 book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The scribe is set to co-pen the script for the series with Dan Kay (who wrote and directed the upcoming drama film, Spider & Jessie). Kay is also set to serve as showrunner on the sports-driven biographical television series, which is currently in the development stages. Eig will also be credited as a co-executive producer on the drama.
Peter Farrelly (who scribed and helmed the biographical war comedy-drama movie, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, last year for Apple) is also attached to the show as an executive producer. He will also direct the pilot if the series moves forward at the streamer.
Michael Uslan, David Uslan and Charles Wessler will also executive produce the drama with Saturday Night Live creator Michaels and his son, Eddie Michaels. The latter serves as the creative executive at Broadway Video.
It’s not currently known if Major League Baseball will be involved in the show about the first baseman, who played for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons, between 1923–1939. Gehrig’s ALS forced him to retire from the sport at age 36, and he died two years later, on June 2, 1941.
Apple’s sereis has a working title of The Luckiest Man, which serves as a tribute to the Hall of Famer’s iconic retirement speech. Gehrig gave the speech two months after he was diagnosed with ALS, which is now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Gehrig earned the nickname of the Iron Horse for his incredible streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games. Many baseball fans never thought the streak would never be broken, but it was eventually topped by Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr. in 1995.
Gehrig ultimately choose to retire from the Yankees’ lineup when the effects of ALS began to impact how he could play the game. Before his retirement, he won the Triple Crown and two AL MVP awards, and was a member of six World Series championship teams.
Gehrig was elected to the Hall of Fame the same year he retired. In 2021, Major League Baseball declared June 2 to be known as Lou Gehrig Day across the league, in tribute to his legacy as one of the game’s greatest players, as well as to help raise awareness about ALS.
Eig’s book drew on interviews and more than 200 pages of previously unpublished letters both to and from Gehrig. Development on a movie adaptation of the book began in 2017, for which Kay was working on penning the screenplay. Jay Russell signed on to direct the big screen adaptation. The authorized feature was ultimately never released, however, but it was supported by the New York Yankees.
Gehrig’s life was previously portrayed in the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees, which starred Gary Cooper. In 2008, the project was ranked as AFI’s third-best sports movie ever.
Michaels and his Broadway Video banner have previously collaborated with Apple on the scripted musical comedy television show, Schmigadoon, which stars Saturday Night Live alum, Cecily Strong and Fred Armisen.