Bonds Baseball and drugs film
Here come the sports biographies. Having just written about Jake Gyllenhaal to play Joe Namath, the famous Jets American Football player, now news has arrived that the San Francisco Giants Baseball star Barry Bonds is going to get the biographical film treatment.
Once again his story incorporates much more than just the on pitch wins and records he's set, and will look into his life outside the Baseball field and into the scandal around the charges of perjury and the allegations of steroid use.
Ron Shelton will co-write and direct the film about Barry Bonds that looks into the season where he break the all time home run records for Baseball while also being indicted for federal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. According to the story from Variety he allegedly lied when he told a grand jury that he had never used performance enhancing drugs.
Well welcome to the world of sport.
The story is to come from the novel Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, the reporters who broke stories about the nutrition company that was accused of distributing banned steroids to a number of athletes.
According to the story the novel shows that Bonds was a natural player with great ability who made some seriously bad judgements trying to increase his hitting power in an effort to be the best. This seems to be a problem with all the sports people who are involved in performance enhancing drugs, the competitive nature and the push to be the best at what they do always seems to be the motivating factor.
It was this very reason that pushed Bonds to take drugs in an effort to beat other, bigger hitters, to the record breaking books. The irony is that already at that time he was considered one of the best players, but that wasn't enough, and he still wanted to get more and therefore had to give more.
Ron Shelton has a number of sports films under his belt, specifically Bull Durham and White Men Can't Jump, both excellent films that concentrate much more on people rather than the sport, and really do manage to bring much more than just a sports film.
I think Shelton handling this story could paint a really unbiased and quite sympathetic story, but at the same time painting the downside of taking performance enhancing drugs.
Ultimately though it's down to the audience, sponsorship companies and the sports governing bodies to pull back on the pressure that these athletes are continually put under.