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Movie In The Works For Indian Pitchers

Monday, 9 Mar 2009 | 2:32 PM ET
The Million Dollar Arm
The Million Dollar Arm
The Million Dollar Arm

A couple weeks ago, I told the story of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, the two pitchers that the Pittsburgh Pirates signed from India after they competed in a reality show called “The Million Dollar Arm.”

We’re not sure how this story is going to end, as the two are likely headed to extended Spring Training before potentially getting assigned to Single-A ball, but it’s already a great story when you think about the fact that the kids had never picked up a baseball before this contest.

It’s such a good story that former pitcher and Hollywood producer Mark Ciardi is now shopping their tale.

“The bar is set really high, but there are unique elements to their story that are very compelling,” said Ciardi of Mayhem Pictures, which produced “Miracle,” “Invincible,” and “The Rookie.”

Ciardi said he’s shopping the film rights first to Disney and Miramax, but also will pitch to financiers and smaller studios. Ciardi said that it’s in the preliminary stages, but that he already has a writer committed to the project.

Marketing agent Jeff Bernstein, who came up with “The Million Dollar Arm,” said he’ll be looking to secure product placement for the film once there is a taker.

Real Slumdog Millionaires
CNBC's Darren Rovell looks at the real slumdog millionaires, former cricket players Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, who were signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates after competing in "The Million Dollar Arm" contest in India.

In a tough economy, Bernstein hasn’t had any trouble signing up brands to be affiliated with Singh and Patel. So far, they have deals with Under Armour (shoes, batting gloves, apparel), Wilson (glove), Upper Deck and Playoff (autographed cards) and Ethnic Kitchens (frozen Indian food). Bernstein said Rinku and Dinesh also will be in an instructional book and DVD.

Watch the piece I did on Rinku and Dinesh.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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