Peacock has put Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation, The Good Place) up-to-bat once more by ordering a drama based on the 1989 Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, The Bodyguard) film, Field of Dreams, straight to series at the streamer. According to People, Schur will be producing the series alongside David Miner (30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Morgan Sackett (The Good Place, Veep) and Lawrence Gordon (Predator, Watchmen) of The Gordon Company, who produced the Academy Award-nominated sports film.
— Variety (@Variety) August 16, 2021
“Through the years, Field of Dreams has remained a fan favorite, maintaining its rightful position in the zeitgeist,” Variety cited Lisa Katz, president of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “It’s whimsical and grounded, a space where Mike Schur excels, and we’re looking forward to bringing a new version of this classic to Peacock.”
Field of Dreams will be Schur’s second series at Peacock, with his first, Rutherford Falls, recently receiving a season two renewal. The relatively new streaming service falls under the NBC umbrella, which has served as Schur’s unofficial television home, having worked on such network hits as The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Good Place and Fox transplant, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for the network.
While Schur has mainly operated in the realm of original series, as opposed to reboots, President of Universal Television, Erin Underhill, said “we could only have entrusted [Field of Dreams] to Mike Schur” (People). Underhill continued: “his talent, his love for baseball and his reverence for its themes make him the perfect choice to revisit this beloved film that evokes nostalgia and visceral emotion in so many of its fans” (People).
In Field of Dreams, Schur will be contributing to Peacock’s strategy of mining nostalgia and recognition from their existing IP with series such as Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell and upcoming reboots of Battlestar Galactica, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Queer as Folk and the film Ted. Nostalgia-fueled reboots of sports films have already proven successful with Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, recently renewed for a second season. When it comes to America’s pastime, Peacock’s streaming competitors are hoping to spin their own iconic baseball films into series with A League of Their Own at Amazon and Sandlot at Disney+.
The film Field of Dreams is an adaptation of W. P. Kinsella’s novel Shoeless Joe, and tells the tale of an Iowa farmer motivated by the spirits of baseball legend to build a diamond on his farm. The film inspired an actual Field of Dreams ballpark on Lansing Family Farm in Dyersville, IA, the film’s setting. According to Variety, a recent regular season game held at the park, between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, became the most watched regular season MLB game in nearly two decades.
Perhaps the success of the MLB’s Field of Dreams game is a good indication for Schur and Peacock, as the movie has still managed to capture the imagination of baseball lovers. Details on how Schur will adapt the content of the film into a long-form series are still unclear, but Gizmodo posits that “attempting to reinterpret a film as famous as Field of Dreams isn’t something a person with a resumé as impressive as Schur will approach lightly.”