Martin Wilson sets the field across the US, India for ‘Wicked Wickets’

WA director Martin Wilson will helm a new cricket-based feature slated to shoot across the US and India towards the end of the year.

Wicked Wickets follows Puerto Rican baseball star Randy Montero, a naturally gifted sportsman with an electric, mega-watt personality who faces a personal and professional crisis when he’s kicked out of the MLB for ongoing bad behaviour. After an unexpected twist lands him in India, he must navigate a new mix of sports, culture, and family, this time in the context of Twenty20 cricket.

Cuban writer/producer Ozz Borges wrote the screenplay alongside Jerry Starling, and is also producing with Indian producer Pravesh Sahni, and LA-based media and entertainment executive John Fragomeni. The producers are in talks to secure a cast and distributor for the film, which will be a co-production between India and the US, and have a budget of about US$17.5 million.

Wilson boarded the project 18 months ago after receiving the screenplay from Fragomeni, previously managing director for WA-based post-production and editorial studio, First Light Digital. It’s one of two international projects in the works for the director, who is also developing horror feature Top Floor with Fremantle Indonesia.

He told IF he was immediately taken by the story, noting the “undercurrent of social consciousness inherently linked to the lead character”.

“I found the script to be really authentic and have a lot of heart and soul, in terms of the main character’s arc of a major league baseball player being confronted with losing everything he had and then confronting his demons through a redemptive arc with a completely different sport,” he said.

“The film is a very deep character study and has a great social consciousness, in regards to a Latino player that has lost his roots and where he came from but through immersing himself in Indian society and the slum areas is able to reconnect with who he really is.”

The announcement comes amid increased interest in cricket from the US, a co-host of this year’s Twenty20 Cricket World Cup alongside the West Indies.

Not only have prominent players, including Australian captain Pat Cummins, signed on to play in the USA’s domestic Major League competition, but cricket will also be included in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

Wilson said Wicked Wickets had the potential to harness brand partnerships within the sport, similar to that of football trilogy Goal!, which benefited from the participation of the governing body FIFA, as well as cameos from current and former players.

“The inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics marks a pivotal moment for the sport,” he said.

“US ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, highlighted the allure of cricket’s T20 format, appealing to an estimated 3 billion fans worldwide. Virat Kohli’s recognition as the ‘third most followed athlete in the world’ on Instagram underscores cricket’s prominence. With such widespread appeal, cricket is set to become a global powerhouse sport, offering immense opportunities for growth and engagement.”