What happens when you mix baseball, Slumdog Millionaire, and American Idol? You get Million Dollar Arm, a new Disney drama based on the reality competition series cooked up by agent J.B. Bernstein to find the latest baseball superstars from India's greatest cricket players. Sound a little ridiculous? Maybe, but Disney is bringing the inspirational story to the big screen and the first trailer has just taken the mound.
Jon Hamm stars as Bernstein, who is forced to come up with a radical new idea when he starts to lose ground to younger, more hungry agents. While watching a cricket match on Indian TV, he comes up with the idea to find the first major league baseball player ever from India, and heads to Mumbai to lead a competition series to pluck through 40,000 hopefuls. Alan Arkin, who seems stuck in crotchety old man mode, plays a combative scout, while Lake Bell is Bernstein's neighbor and love interest. Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal are the two 18-year-old winners who are then flown to America where they learn cricket is nothing like playing baseball in the pros.
At one point, Bell's character says "This whole alternative family thing looks good on you", and the idea of creating a sense of family wherever one can is a theme writer Tom McCarthy has explored in all of his movies, from The Station Agent, to The Visitor, and Win Win. While this looks like a definite crowd-pleaser, McCarthy may be able to give it a bit more depth than this trailer suggests. Directed by Craig Gillespie, Million Dollar Arm opens May 16th.