Amazon’s A League of Their Own series pilot casts The Good Place actress D’Arcy Carden as well as Broad City star Abbi Jacobson. Released in 1992, the original movie version of A League of Their Own told the real-life story of an all-female baseball league that rose to prominence during World War 2 while many major league stars were off fighting the war.
Directed by Penny Marshall, A League of Their Own starred Geena Davis (who garnered a Golden Globe nomination), Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna (who also performed the film’s Golden Globe-nominated song “This Used to Be My Playground”) as female ballplayers battling stereotypes, and sometimes each other, while making their baseball dreams come true. But the movie’s most memorable performance actually came from a male actor, Tom Hanks, who sank himself into the role of hard-drinking manager Jimmy Dugan (based on real-life major league player-manager Jimmie Foxx) and introduced the now-iconic line “There’s no crying in baseball.” The movie went on to be a hit with $132 million at the box office, and will now be revived as a half-hour series from Amazon (a 1993 sitcom version lasted only 3 episodes).
As reported by THR, Amazon has begun casting the female ballplayers of A League of Their Own, adding Carden and Jacobson to the roster for the pilot. Jacobson is also set to write and executive produce alongside Mozart in the Jungle’s Will Graham.
The movie of course revolved around Davis and Petty’s sister characters Dottie and Kit, but the series version reportedly will not feature either character. The synopsis for the series reads:
"A League of Their Own is a half-hour comedy infusing the warmth, humor and DNA of the classic film, while taking a contemporary spin on the stories of the women surrounding the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The show will begin with the formation of the league in 1943 and follows the Rockford Peaches season to season as they struggle to keep the team alive through close games, injuries, late night bar crawls, sexual awakenings, not crying and road trips across a rapidly changing United States. The series dives deeper into the issues facing the country while following a ragtag team of women figuring themselves out while fighting to realize their dreams of playing professional baseball."
In addition to her role as Janet on The Good Place, Carden is known for her performances on HBO’s Barry as well as Broad City. Carden will also be seen later this year alongside Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie in the drama Bombshell. Jacobson of course is best known as co-creator and star of Broad City, and has also done voice work in the animated shows Disenchantment and BoJack Horseman.
At least going by the synopsis, it sounds like Amazon’s spin on A League of Their Own will be a little more hard-hitting and a little less wholesome than the movie, which tackled feminist issues in a largely non-offensive and comedic way, with Madonna giving the movie its only mild hint of raunchiness (which was mostly a self-aware play on her own image as a sex symbol). Of course, Jacobson’s Broad City is a fairly edgy show, and if she brings the same sensibility to Amazon’s A League of Their Own it will definitely be a change-up from the mostly family-friendly film.