This project, which began with an original script by Eric Champnella & Keith Mitchell, had come close to production several times over the years off of drafts by a succession of famous writer-directors. It took on new life in 2003 when Charles Stone was hired to direct Bernie Mac during his hiatus from his TV show. That required another complete rewrite in less than a month. Stone said he hired Gould because, with his TV experience, he was the only writer they met with “who didn’t look scared.”
After a tepid opening weekend at the box office, Disney took the rare step of apologizing to the producers for marketing the movie poorly, having advertised it as the broad comedy they thought would sell rather than the romantic comedy-drama Stone delivered and which the studio and test audiences had greatly enjoyed.
Nonetheless, film historians generally consider it the finest piece of cinema to date about the Milwaukee Brewers.