The Trade is a film about two pitchers for the Yankees, Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson, who in 1973 made a spring training announcement that they would be swapping families- wives, kids, dogs, the whole shebang. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have long been attached to the project, and some new details have emerged revealing that Casey Affleck is now involved with writing the script, and that Matt Damon could very well be directing it.
When speaking with MTV, Ben Affleck mentioned the project and that he and his brother are currently tacking a new version of the script. Casey is in a period of branching out right now, this year having starred in the controversial Killer Inside Me and released his shit-stirring directorial debut I’m Still Here. His only writing credit to date is for Gerry, which he co-wrote with Matt Damon and Gus Van Sant back in 2002. While Casey expands his horizons on the script, Matt Damon could possibly expand his own horizons with a directorial debut. Damon has long been forthcoming about his intentions to direct, and considering he has been on set with virtually every American auteurist director that is currently active, he’s probably pretty damn qualified (Ben Affleck refers to it as “the world’s greatest apprenticeship”).
Amidst the jokes about the die-hard Bostonian’s disdain for the institution of the Yankees, Affleck paints a picture of the project’s current status…
“Yeah, it looks like my brother and I are going to do the next draft of The Trade. So I’m really excited to- yeah, I’m going to write it with Casey. I don’t know how it will come together- acting, directing, who will do it, but Casey and I have decided to write it. But, uh, it’s a pre-Steinbrenner Yankees hat, so it’s a different club in that era, early 70s. And I’ve come to have a little more respect for the Yankees there- there are some of those guys that I have to say seem like good guys. As for the institution? Disdain… It’s one of those things where we don’t jump in saying “I’m gonna do this, you’re gonna do this,” it’s like… Casey and I are going to fool with it and get it to the place we want to get it to, once the scripts kinda ready, it’s like “who’s doing what? what’s the timeframe?” Matt, me, Casey… directing. It’s a question of- particularly with Matt, he’s had this extraordinary career where he’s constantly working with the greatest directors, and he’s just a very good director that hasn’t directed a movie yet.”
While the directing chair will be an interesting seat to see filled, the roles themselves could be a lot of fun for any of the actors as well. Peterson and Kekich had very different luck after the swap- Peterson and his new wife Susanne remain married and have had five children together, though Peterson’s pitching career swiftly suffered and he was traded away not long after the announcement. Kekich didn’t last long with Peterson’s wife and saw his career decline, despite a Kenny Powersian attempt at a Mexican League comeback. I’m not sure what the tone of the film will be, but there’s a lot of dark comedy to be mined from these guys’ careers and personal lives.
The project will have to reconcile the schedules of three high-profile careers, so who knows when it will actually launch and get shooting, but I’m looking forward to hearing more- every one of these guys is at a very interesting place.
Interview embedded below.