Cannes: Richie Metha to Direct Jay Baruchel Starrer 'Baseballissimo' (Exclusive)

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Jay Baruchel

The producers are looking for a new lead to play a minor-league pitcher on an Italian baseball team after Anton Yelchin's accidental death in mid-2016.

Richie Mehta has signed on to direct the indie Baseballissimo, to star and be penned by Jay Baruchel and writing partner Jesse Chabot (Random Acts of Violence).

Mehta's latest movie is the documentary India in a Day, which was executive produced by Ridley Scott and which follows two earlier India-set theatrical dramas, Siddarth and Amal. Google partnered with The Martian director Scott, Indian helmer Anurag Kashyap and Mehta on the user-generated doc.

Mehta replaces fellow Canadian filmmaker Jacob Tierney as director of Baseballissimo while the project regroups after Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was set for the lead role in the Canadian indie, only to die in a car accident in mid-2016. Yelchin was to have played Kyle Buffone, a rising minor-league baseball player who gets detoured on the way to major-league stardom by pitching for the Peones, a team in Italy.

A71 Productions, which is co-producing Baseballissimo with Gefilter Productions, also produced Mehta's Siddarth and Amal. The film is based on the book of the same name by Dave Bidini and is being produced by David Miller and executive produced by Geddy Lee and Bidini.

Baruchel and Chabot are repped by CAA, Thruline Entertainment and Jamie Feldman at Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman; Mehta is repped by Gersh.

Baseballissimo will be shopped to buyers in Cannes by WME and A71.

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