If “The Chicken Runs at Midnight” story is made into a movie, as central subject Rich Donnelly said it was in preliminary steps to be, who should play Craig Counsell?
Counsell, the current Milwaukee Brewers manager, famously scored the winning run in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, lifting the Florida Marlins to an 11th-inning win over the Cleveland Indians. His action later became part of the uplifting story told through the eyes of third-base coach Donnelly, whose recollections were compiled into a book by Tom Friend and released Oct. 2.
Who’s going to play the baby-faced Counsell, who was 27 years old at the time of the World Series win? Let’s investigate some candidates.
The former Spider-Man has one pretty key thing in common with Counsell: he’s 43 years old and looks like he could be a 27-year-old (Counsell is 48 now, but the point stands). Maybe we could even see a postscript with Counsell as a Brewers player, and nobody would bat an eye that it’s the exact same actor 20 years later.
Here’s an actor whose star is rising. Maybe you noticed him as Kato Kaelin in “American Crime Story: the People vs. OJ Simpson” and feel there’s too much serendipity there, given that Kaelin is one of the more … colorful … fans of the Brewers. Maybe you saw him in Netflix series “Maniac” or in movies “Into the Woods” or “The Big Short.” He could definitely pull this off.
Here’s another fast-rising actor, whose credits include memorable roles in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and the “X-Men” franchise. He’s also super British, which is completely immaterial but still fun.
If you want to hook in a younger audience, go with an actor known for his work in screen adaptations of young-adult fiction (“The Fault in Our Stars,” “Divergent”) or the recent Oscar hopeful “Baby Driver.” There’s kind of a resemblance, no?
He’s probably a little too famous now to play a supporting-actor role, but he did play Scott Hatteburg in “Moneyball,” so he knows how to portray scrappy pro baseball players form the late 90s and early 2000s.
Caleb Landry Jones
You might have to squint to see this, but if the dude had a baseball hat on and shaved the stache, he’d be a pretty good ringer for Counsell. He’s been in a lot of high-profile projects, from “Get Out” to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” to “X-Men” to the televised version of “Friday Night Lights.”