There was talk a few years back about a Bill Veeck feature length biopic starring Bill Murray, but as St. Paul Saints co-owner Mike Veeck — he of Disco Demolition infamy — explains to the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan, you can blame the continent of Europe. Or whoever thought it would be a good idea to release Bernie Mac’s “Mr. 3000” in France.
Ted Turner owned the original rights, but Mike Veeck said the idea was tossed out during the AOL-Time-Warner merger.
“When they merged, they threw out any vehicle that wouldn’t make its money back overseas,” Mike said. “They don’t call them movies- but vehicles. And guess what movies are the only ones that don’t make money overseas? Baseball movies. So that’s what happened. When the merger came, it was one of like, three movies thrown out.
“In Europe, that’s where they sell the majority of movies, and (the Bill Veeck story) really wouldn’t mean anything to them. So it was an interesting run. The only reason Murray got involved was I said to Mom (Mary Frances Veeck): ‘Look, this movie business is a more illegitimate business than we’re in. Everybody is making a movie, so let’s get a commitment from somebody.’
“And that’s how Murray got involved.”
“I think something will happen, but you just kind of let that stuff percolate,” Veeck said. “There’s a lot of people that don’t know him because of the age difference now. The redeeming thing is that fun is now even more heavily marketable. If I see one more corporation that led us down the primrose path selling fun and customer service, I’m going to throw up.”