Largely due to the efforts of Kevin Costner, there was a time when baseball movies were a consistent presence. Whether as a drama or comedy, they tend to follow the same sports cliches; overcoming the odds, learning teamwork, winning the championship, etc. etc. etc. Writer/director Noah Buschel's film The Phenom looks to dig a little deeper, exploring one rising star's emotional journey beyond the field.
Starring Ethan Hawke as the sports dad from Hell, the film centers on troubled pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) who experiences incredible success too fast, but then can't find the plate in the Majors. So he's busted back down to the Minors and sent to an unorthodox sports psychologist played by Paul Giamatti.
Buschel's prior film, Glass Chin, explored an ex-boxer's struggles to establish a life outside of the ring. So this is territory Buschel is familiar with and attuned to. The Phenom hits theaters and VOD on June 24th.