Shane Abbess, the director angling to make a movie about David Ross and the world champion 2016 Cubs, said the former catcher and his producing partners needed some convincing before entrusting “Teammate” to an Aussie best known for science fiction.
“I really went hard for this project when I first heard about it,” said Abbess, calling from his native Australia. “I had to prove to them that I really was familiar with all the different aspects of the game. I know it sounds crazy, this sci-fi guy from Australia wants to direct the movie. I really had to express my love and passion for the game — both playing it, and watching it.”
Abbess first fell for American baseball as a kid Down Under, where was hooked by “the sense of romance to the game. I watched it with a sense of awe.” He and his pals would order World Series recaps on Beta tapes. “It would be weeks after the end of the World Series, but we’d sit down and binge-watch the whole series,” he added. After Abbess moved to live in New York and Los Angeles, he “went to many, many games of all kinds, including minor-league teams.”
Asked about the rumored casting of Bill Murray to portray team manager Joe Maddon in his film, Abbess joked about the difficulty in actually reaching the famously elusive Murray but noted “he’s such a huge Cubs fan and I think he’d be great,” if the casting could be finalized.
His latest film, “The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume 1,” opens Friday at AMC Woodridge, on demand, and is also available on DirecTV. Daniel MacPherson stars as a futuristic officer employed by an interplanetary military contractor, racing to rescue his daughter (Teagan Croft) with the help of a former nurse (Kellan Lutz, “Twilight”).
“I’m frankly more interested in telling dramatic stories, not necessarily in the world of sci-fi,” Abbess said. “But the attraction of sci-fi comes from my own desire to tell stories set in places I very likely will never go in my lifetime. I also like to do stories about things I do not do in my everyday life — so that’s a big part of it too.”