Perhaps to capitalize on all the attention surrounding Jason Collins and Michael Sam being the first out athletes in their respective fields, Jamie Lee Curtis is teaming up with The Laramie Project producer Ross Katz to tell the story of Glenn Burke, the first MLB player to come out as gay.
Katz will write and Curtis’ Juma Entertainment will produce Out At Home: The Glenn Burke Story, which will be based on the 1995 memoir of the same name written by Burke and Erik Sherman. Burke played for both the L.A. Dodgers and the Oakland A’s in the 1970s, and was by all accounts an outsized presence both on and off the field.
In a move unheard of in the era, Burke was out to both teammates and management while he played in the MLB in the late ’70s. Burke retired in 1979 and then came out in an interview with Bryant Gumbel on the Today show in 1982, becoming the first baseball player to do so.
Curtis seems thrilled to be taking on the project and introducing a new generation to Burke’s struggle:
“With Michael Sam’s brave and bold statement, he joins the trifecta of American sports — Glenn Burke, MLB; Jason Collins, NBA; Michael Sam, NFL — dealing with gay athletes, and forcing open the door permanently. Our film will clearly honor the force and the struggle to get there.”
No home for the project has been announced yet, but given Katz’s long history with HBO Films (home of The Laramie Project and another Katz movie Taking Chance), that network seems like a likely candidate.
As for casting, of course nothing has been mentioned yet, but could we suggest Michael B. Jordan? We’d love to see him play gay, and after Fruitvale Station he’s definitely got the chops to knock it out of the park.