Columbus Short and Artistry Films are developing a film based on the life of the late major league baseball player Dock Ellis, according to Variety. Entitled ‘Ellis D,’ production is set to begin in 2018. On Tuesday Max Gousse and Columbus Short of Artistry Films announced they have acquired life rights from Ellis’ widow, Hjordis Ellis, who has been consulting on the project.
Along with writing the script with actor/writer Lane Garrison, Short announced that he will star in ‘Ellis D’.
A pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1968 through 1979 Ellis played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and New York Mets. Ellis gained notoriety for throwing a no-hitter on June 12, 1970, and later stated that he accomplished the feat under the influence of LSD.
Ellis was an outspoken in advocating for the rights of players and African Americans. After retiring in 1979 he disclosed that he had a substance abuse problem, and that he never pitched without the use of drugs. After going into treatment he remained sober and devoted the remainder of his life to counseling drug addicts in treatment centers and prisons. He died of a liver ailment at age 63 in 2008.
“The trajectory of Dock Ellis’ life is a true story of rehabilitation, resilience, victory and freedom,” Short said. “As a filmmaker, to be able to bring this compelling story to life is a dream come true. ‘Ellis D’ is a labor of love for all involved, and we will nurture the film and help it find the audience it deserves.”
This is the second Ellis biopic announced this year. In June, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., was announced as being cast as Ellis in an untitled movie.