Dock Ellis, the colorful and brash, former MLB pitcher may be getting a biopic. Per Variety:
“Hacksaw Ridge” producer David Permut is developing a movie about the life of the late Major League Baseball pitcher Dock Ellis.
Permut has acquired Joey Poach’s spec script “Dock” through his Permut Presentations company and brought on board Dock Ellis’ son, Dock Ellis III, as a consultant.
Ellis played in the major leagues for 12 years, nine with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was an outspoken advocate for African-American players, continuing Jackie Robinson’s fight for racial equality in Major League Baseball. He gained notoriety after he retired by disclosing that he had pitched a no-hitter in 1970 while high on LSD.
In 1973, pictures circulated of Ellis wearing hair curlers during pre-game warmups, which led to a magazine story about his hairstyles.
Ellis played on World Series champion teams in 1971 with the Pirates and in 1976 with the New York Yankees. He retired in 1979 and subsequently admitted that he had never pitched a game sober and ultimately sought treatment for his alcohol and drug addiction. He then dedicated the rest of his life to counseling those suffering from substance abuse problems specializing in counseling professional athletes before dying of a liver ailment in 2008 at the age of 63.
“I think Dock’s story is an inspiring and timely one that deserves to be told now more than ever,” Permut told Variety. “The character of Dock is sure to attract a major star and filmmaker.”
A film about Dock Ellis and his colorful life is nothing new. 2014’s No No: A Dockumentary centered on the former pitcher’s 1970 LSD fueled game.