Yasiel Puig was a headline before he had the opportunity to put on a Los Angeles Dodgers jersey. Signed to a seven-year, $42 million contract, many were instantly drawn to Puig in large part because of the unknown. Despite a strong Spring Training in 2013, Puig began the season in Double-A with the Chattanooga Lookouts. He would join the Dodgers in June, providing an instant spark and along with Hanley Ramirez, helped engineer a historic turnaround and push into the playoffs.
As Puig’s rise to stardom, so too did questions about his past. Little was known of Puig’s defection from Cuba other than he came to the Dodgers by way of Mexico. When questioned on the matter, Puig refused to discuss and has yet to reveal intimate details. Jesse Katz of Los Angeles Magazine wrote a feature on Puig’s journey, complete with details of involvement from a Mexican drug cartel and unpaid ransom
According to Borys Kit and Rebecca Ford of The Hollywood Reporter, the rights to turn Puig’s dramatic story into a movie have been acquired by Brett Ratner:
In a heated competition, Brett Ratner and his RatPac Entertainment have acquired the rights to Jesse Katz’ article Escape From Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers.
After Katz’s feature was published, much of the discussion surrounding Puig shifted from his on-field play to his life story. Manager Don Mattingly was also questioned and said he was not aware of the details that encapsulated Puig’s defection, but expressed concern for his outfielder. Dodgers front office personnel have remained mum on the subject and Puig’s only acknowledgement of the feature was a statement issued by his agent.
Puig finished last season with a .319 average and is hitting .254 this season as he’s been in and out of the lineup and moved around in the order.
Further details of the movie were not immediately available, other than Ratner will produce the movie alongside Beau Flynn and FlynnPicture Co.
Dodgers Story: Yasiel Puig’s Shocking Escape From Cuba