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MAJOR LEAGUE: BACK TO THE MINORS

About The Production
When producer James G

When producer James G. Robinson of Morgan Creek Productions approached writer/director John Warren to write a follow­up to their successful "Major League" franchise, Warren suggested a small character­driven comedy set in the minor leagues.

Warren chose to go back to the minor leagues given the public's disenchantment with the salary squabbles and prima donna attitudes of so many major league players. "It's hard to care about the tribulations of millionaires," remarks Warren. "So I came up with this group of eccentric, misfit minor league players who are underdogs that people can root for. These characters have humor and heart and an endless passion and love for the game. What's endearing about these guys is they really are trying."

The Buzz players are composites of players that Warren knew as a young ball player. "Baseball is in my blood," says Warren. "I was a pitcher in high school and at Ohio University. In the summers I played semi­pro ball. But much like the character of Doc in the movie, I couldn't throw a fast ball to save my life."

Scott Bakula found the Gus Cantrell character particularly appealing. "Gus has a wonderful arc with real emotions," comments Bakula. "Men and women my age who have been doing something for a long time can relate to this guy. He's looking at a dead end and is afraid to look at the future. Gus just wants to keep getting on the same horse every day and riding it and getting off, ignoring the inevitability of what's going to happen. Certainly it's true in the athletic world. He is offered the option of managing instead of playing, which he very hesitantly accepts.

Returning for his third stint in the "Major League" franchise is Corbin Bernsen as Roger Dorn. This time Dorn is the owner of the Minnesota Twins and its Triple­A team, the Buzz. "I think in sports movies you know the underdog has a good chance of winning in the end," comments Bernsen. "I was really delighted to get this script because it's a different thing. It's not about the major leagues, and it's not about guys working their way up through a season and overcoming huge obstacles to win. It's actually more character­driven. It's not about the final fight; it's about the road there and all the turns on the way.

"Roger Dorn has changed since he's become a team owner," continues Bernsen. "He's still smooth and slick, but now he's cut his hair and thinks he looks a little like Cal Ripkin. He lives and breathes the Twins. They are rich guys who have forgotten what it's like to be a team and play baseball. When he hires Gus, Roger infuses the Buzz and the Twins with what they both need: his minor league boys learn from the major league team and the major league guys learn about heart and soul from the Buzz."

Another veteran of the "Major League" series is Dennis Haysbert. He reprises the role of Pedro Cerrano, the Cuban outfielder who is constantly seeking spirituality. Pedro has gone from voodooism, to Buddhism and now to Christianity.

"With Pedro I have a reputation to uphold," says Haysbert. "I owe it to him. I like the fact that I've been able to develop this character through three movies. And with the 'Major League' movies, you know you'll always come out and have a good time."

Also returning is Japanese superstar Takaaki Ishibashi, who made his American motion picture debut as Taka in "Major League II." Now "retired," Gus and Pedro lure Taka back to baseball from his unhappy proprietorshi

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