“If you build it, he will come” just got a whole new meaning. A week after Major League Baseball unveiled a newly constructed baseball stadium inspired by 1989’s Field of Dreams, a new TV show based on that sports fantasy movie has been announced from Good Place and Office writer Michael Schur. The series “will reimagine the mixture of family, baseball, Iowa, and magic that makes the movie so enduring and beloved,” according to a press release. It’s been ordered straight to series and will live on Universal’s streaming service, Peacock.
“Field of Dreams is an iconic Universal Film title from venerable producers Lawrence and Charles Gordon, that we could only have entrusted to Mike Schur,” Erin Underhill, president of Universal Television, said in the release. “His talent, his love for baseball, and his reverence for its themes make him the perfect choice to revisit this beloved film that evokes nostalgia and visceral emotion in so many of its fans.”
Written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson and based on the 1982 novel Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, Field of Dreams stars Kevin Costner as Ray, an Iowa farmer who one day hears a mysterious voice saying “If you build it, he will come.” Ray realises the “it” is a baseball field, so he pours all of his family’s money into building a baseball field where the ghosts of legendary baseball players begin to appear. Though it didn’t win any of the three Oscars it was nominated for (Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Score), Field of Dreams has become one of the most iconic (and tear-jerking) sports movies of all time. It co-stars Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones, and Amy Madigan, among others.
The film has endured so much that, as previously mentioned, Major League Baseball built a field next to the filming location for the movie and hosted a game there just last week. Filled with references to the movie, the broadcast was the highest-rated regular season baseball game in almost 20 years. “Through the years, Field of Dreams has remained a fan favourite, maintaining its rightful position in the zeitgeist,” said Lisa Katz, President of NBCUniversal television and streaming. “It’s whimsical and grounded, a space where Mike Schur excels, and we’re looking forward to bringing a new version of this classic to Peacock.”
How Schur will capture the magic of the movie in an extended TV format is, of course, the biggest question. But attempting to reinterpret a film as famous as Field of Dreams isn’t something a person with a resumé as impressive as Schur will approach lightly.