20th Century Fox is about to make a lot of people very happy, as the studio has just announced a prequel to 1993’s cult classic The Sandlot. Though the film spawned some rather underwhelming straight-to-DVD sequels, David Mickey Evans, the original’s writer and director has been tapped to co-write the script with Austin Reynolds, so there’s definitely some hope that this new prequel can hit it out of the park.
The original is a beautiful coming of age comedy about a boy named Scottie Smalls who moves to a new neighborhood and takes to playing baseball with a local group of young boys. Scottie eventually loses his dad’s coveted baseball, signed by no other than home run legend Babe Ruth, to a menacing dog named the beast, and the boys have to hatch a plan to retrieve it. Information surrounding the looming prequel is scant, but we do know it’ll deal with the legend of the beast.
One still does have to wonder what exactly an era-specific 60’s movie like The Sandlot needs a prequel for. Wouldn’t you rather know how Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez faired as an MLB player, or if Scottie ever made the transition to sportscasting on cable news as an adult? Will their kids love baseball too, or end up hating it? Going backward in time is cool, but how much will it actually add to the mythos of The Sandlot? Does the original even need more of a mythos than it has? Though the film could easily end up hitting just as hard as the first, it could also end up being another ploy for nostalgia points in 2018.
Listen, The Sandlot isn’t some groundbreaking narrative, it’s just a damn good film about kids learning important stuff about life while playing baseball. While kids will always benefit from a good coming of age tale, maybe it’s best to just leave a good thing alone?