Dennis Quaid is returning to the baseball diamond 19 years after starring in The Rookie. The two-time Golden Globe nominee will star in The Hill, which is an inspirational family drama penned by Angelo Pizzo (Rudy, Hoosiers) and the late Scott Marshall Smith (The Score, Men of Honor), who passed away in December.
The Hill tells the story of Rickey Hill who overcomes his physical disability to play professional baseball. The film also features Rickey's relationship with his father, making the story more inspirational. The Hill will start filming in Georgia in November.
"When I met Rickey and heard his story, I became overwhelmed with emotion; something grabbed me from inside and wouldn't let go," director Jeff Celentano said in a press release. "I've searched my whole career for a story like this. A story that touches all of us who have a dream and proves we can achieve those dreams no matter what stands in our way."
Quaid will play Rickey's father Pastor Hill, who is protective of his son and doesn't want him to go out into the world and be made fun of because of his disability. But as Rickey grows up, Pastor Hill is not as concerned due to Rickey's natural talent.
"Since the 1970s in particular, the sports film has gained increasing recognition as one of the most important and popular genres in contemporary cinema," Quaid said. "I couldn't be more excited about this project. This film will no doubt further validate the power of American social mobility and show that in America you can choose to be what you want."
"I'm setting out to make an iconic film in the classic sense, a beautiful sweeping and powerful inspirational story," Celentano said when talking about casting Quaid as Pastor Hill. "One that will stand the test of time like Blindside, Rudy, Field of Dreams and The Natural. Dennis was the first and only person I thought of for the lead role upon reading the script. There's no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to play a loving, caring father while at the same time a staunch, powerful man – all the qualities needed to bring Pastor Hill's character to life."
As mentioned, The Hill will not be Quaid's first baseball fill as he starred in The Rookie in 2002. Quaid played the role of Jim Morris, a baseball pitcher who made his MLB debut at the age of 35 after undergoing several arm surgeries. The Rookie was a big success, earning $80.7 million at the box office and an 84% score on Rotten Tomatoes.