The story of ballplayer Yasiel Puig's harrowing journey from Cuba to the United States seems tailor-made for the big screen, with its shady smugglers, speeding cigarette boats and one heck of a Hollywood ending.
Brett Ratner would seem to agree. His RatPac Entertainment has acquired the rights to Jesse Katz's recent Los Angeles magazine article chronicling Puig's story, "Escape From Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Katz's article, published earlier this month, details how Puig tried to escape from his native Cuba several times, finally succeeding with the help a shady sponsor and smugglers working for a Mexican drug cartel, who took him to the Yucatan Peninsula.
When his backer allegedly didn't pay up immediately, the cartel held Puig in captivity for nearly three weeks. Eventually, Puig made it to the U.S., where he signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers and sparked the team into the playoffs his rookie season.
In the wake of Katz's explosive article and a similar story in ESPN the Magazine, Puig's agent issued a statement saying he wouldn't be commenting on the matter.
Ratner will produce the film with Beau Flynn, reuniting the two after their partnership on the upcoming action movie "Hercules," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
A search for writers for the Puig biopic is underway.
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