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Billy Bean signs with Zadan and Meron and Showtime for TV biopic

Billy Bean signs with Zadan and Meron and Showtime for TV biopic

The Reagans, with its troubled history, is 2003's news: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's Storyline Entertainment starts 2004 with a project that should hit the ball out of the park. According to Daily Variety, Major League Baseball's out hero Billy Bean--who came out on the cover of The Advocate--will be the subject of a made-for-TV movie directed and produced by Alan Poul (More Tales of the City) and executive-produced by Storyline. The company's TV head, Dave Mace, will be a co-executive producer; Sony's Helen Verno will supervise for the studio. Going the Other Way, which is in the early stages of development as a two-hour film, will be based on Bean's 2003 autobiography of the same name. Subtitled Lessons From a Life In and Out of Major League Baseball, the memoir was cowritten by Advocate Washington correspondent Chris Bull. Former Advocate editor in chief Jeff Yarbrough, a Bean friend who is credited with introducing the ex-major leaguer to producer Poul, will serve as a coproducer. The producers are currently searching for a writer to adapt the book for the screen. Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt, who most recently worked with Zadan and Meron on The Reagans, told Variety that there is "a universality" to Bean's tale. "It's a great story of somebody who had to hide who he was and ultimately find the strength to reveal that, in an environment that was very dangerous," Greenblatt told the paper. "It's a story of strength and conviction and becoming who you are." Bean was an outfielder for several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1987 to 1995. He married his high school sweetheart, yet all the time kept his homosexuality hidden. He finally came out in 1999 following the death of his longtime lover and a mental breakdown. He left the game in 1996.

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