Forget Highbury: Hollywood is remaking 'Fever Pitch' as a baseball movie in Boston

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The Independent Culture

Perhaps it's Gwyneth Paltrow's low opinion of English men or maybe it's just that the first version upset the critics and disappointed the audiences so much.

But only five years after Fever Pitch was turned into a film by British producers, Nick Hornby's autobiographical novel is to get the High Fidelity treatment and be remade in America.

Gone will be the backdrop of Finsbury Park and Highbury football ground. Instead the chief protagonist will live in Boston and his sporting fixation will be with the Red Sox baseball team. No actor has yet been named to take the role of the anti-heroic footballing nerd modelled on Hornby and played against type in the 1997 British film version of the book by Colin Firth.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ms Paltrow has been chosen for the role of Sarah Hughes, Hornby's long-suffering girlfriend whose negative attitude to the game is transformed by the outpouring of emotion brought on by Arsenal's last-minute championship victory in 1989.

Shawn Levy, the director of Big Fat Liar, is in talks to direct the new film, which has been Americanised by the comedy writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, who developed the lead female character for Ms Paltrow.

Levy said: "I'm thrilled to be working with such great source material. I've been a Hornby fan for years."

High Fidelity scored with the fans and the critics when it crossed the Atlantic, swapping the grungy north London suburb of Holloway for Chicago and starring John Cusack and Catherine Zeta Jones.

This remake now promises to spare American cinema-goers from getting to grips with both the intricacies of football's offside rule and the enigmatic psyche of the English male.